Windows are a vital part of the function, and beauty of your home. At some point, they will need to be replaced. But why? We’ve been doing this for a long time and, over the years, we’ve noticed the same five reasons get cited over and over.
- Sound Reduction
- Energy Efficiency
- Curb Appeal
Which one applies to you?
“They Have To Be Replaced”
Replacing Windows Out Of Necessity
Thinking from a purely functional point of view, once a window ceases to do what it was made to do, which is let in light and keep out the elements, it becomes a liability. simply stated, they’re old and drafty, maybe they leak when it rains. Wood windows that are rotten. Windows that no longer open, close, or are painted shut. They’ve been repaired, rigged, caulked, and re-caulked but are now at the point where the only option is to replace them.
The problem with waiting to replace your windows as a last resort is windows have an essential function in your home, they keep the elements out. At least they should. Once they start to fail there’s a very good chance water could be making its way around the window and causing damage to your home. Damage that you may not be aware of until the windows get replaced. Damage that will need to be repaired at an additional cost.
The moral of the story is to not wait until it’s too late to replace your windows. Once they’ve deteriorated to a point that they no longer protect your home from the elements it’s best, and cheaper, to replace them before you have to pay for costly repairs.
“Too Much Noise”
Replacing Windows For Sound Reduction
Do you live off of a busy street? Does the neighbor’s dog spend the night serenading the neighborhood? Do you have an air conditioner or pool equipment outside of your bedroom window? If so, then you can relate the category of people that want to replace their windows for sound reduction and there are actually a few ways to go about it.
Double-Pane Windows – If you’re going from old, drafty, single-pane windows to double-pane there is an inherent sound reduction just by upgrading to a well-sealed, insulated window. It’s actually pretty significant. In fact, many of our happy customers have reported that they never even realized how noisy their old windows were.
Offset Glass – Now we start delving into the science of sound transmission. Sound is a compression wave and it’s transmitted based on the density or frequency of the medium through which it’s passing. Two objects tuned to the same frequency are called “sympathetic”. An example would be two tuning forks of the same tone that are placed in the same room several feet apart. If one of the tuning forks is struck both will resonate because the frequency is transmitted through the air causing the sympathetic fork to vibrate.
By constructing the double-pane glass unit of two pieces of glass that are different thicknesses (or dissimilar) the sympathetic relationship is disrupted and sound does not travel through the glass as effectively. Sound transmission in windows is measured on the STC scale and most standard double-pane windows come in around STC 27; offset glass can get that rating up to an STC 34 and even outperform triple-pane glass.
Sound Reduction Windows – This is a good place to point out that there is no such thing as a “Soundproof” window and the best that you’re going to get is a Sound Reduction Window which is designed to achieve the highest STC rating possible. A sound reduction window with all of the bells and whistles can achieve up to an STC 48 and to put that in perspective, an eight-inch thick cinder block wall has an STC rating of 50. Think about that, it is possible to get a window that performs nearly as well as a block wall!
“I Don’t Feel Safe”
Replacing Windows for Security
In about 25% of all burglaries, the perpetrator gained access through a first-floor window. Since doors are most often lit and exposed to passers-by a secluded window is often the next best target of burglars looking for an easy access point. New windows with double-strength glass and better locks are inherently more secure especially when replacing older single-pane windows. However, a determined burglar is eventually going to get it so the name of the game is making it so difficult that they just give up and move on. If security is a top concern, then windows with laminated glass are going to get you the most protection from break-ins. It can eventually be compromised but laminated glass will take significantly longer to get through, as you can see here, and in all likelihood, they’d give up.
“My Home Is Uncomfortable”
Replacing Windows For Energy Efficiency
It doesn’t matter if you live in a hot or cold climate, switching from single-pane to double-pane windows is going to come with a reduction in energy usage. Especially when windows are specced with Low-E coatings to increase the benefit. It’s not uncommon to see a 24% reduction in energy costs in cold climates and 20% in hotter climates.
Now, you may be thinking the savings are nice but it would take quite a long time to recover the cost of the windows just on the utility savings. Keep in mind, that replacement windows also add value to the resale value of your home. Remodeling magazine released a study in 2022 that found that, on average, you could expect to recover 67.5% percent of the cost of new windows at the sale of your home. Needless to say, you’re going to recover 32.5% of your project costs a lot quicker than you will the total cost. We have a video breakdown here.
“I Love My House, But I Hate My Windows”
Replacing Windows For Curb Appeal
Yes, windows serve an important function in a home and all of the reasons that we’ve stated so far are functional in nature. They also provide an opportunity to totally overhaul the house’s appeal as well, and by far, the most cited reason windows get replaced is aesthetics or curb appeal. People move into a home that they love everything about except the ugly, chunky-framed windows or they decide to renovate their traditional home into something more contemporary. You could think of windows as jewelry for your house. There are countless options for colors, styles, grid patterns, and configurations, and your selection can completely change the look and feel of your home. So get creative, have fun, and put your personal touch on your home with replacement windows.
If you’re in the Houston area we’d love to hear from you about your window replacement project. You can contact us for a free, no-pressure, no-hassle consultation or stop by our beautiful showroom and have a look around.
If you’re not in the Houston area try JeffsList.com and see if we know a great window company in your area.