Have you ever considered the impact of your windows on mother earth? If you’ve been trying to reduce your carbon footprint, congrats!
While recycling and up-cycling and composting are all significant contributions, you have an offender in your home that could still be waging war on the environment—your old and inefficient units.
We reached out to Zen Windows Austin, experts in window replacement, for a rundown of the impact of inefficient components on the environment. Their team shared not only those consequences, but they also told us how to see if you need to replace your windows and additional impacts of hanging onto those old and worn units. Read on.
Four Common Warning Signs That Indicate You Need Replacement Windows
Drafty windows mean more energy consumption
In the cold winter months, warm air produced by the furnace or heating unit can escape due to gaps in old materials. These drafty old things also mean that the fresh air provided by fans and air conditioners during summer makes its way outside.
The result is an increase in your energy consumption that stems from the need for additional energy to be generated to compensate for the warm or cold air seeping through the gaps. If the areas around your windows are colder (when running your heat) in comparison to other spots in the house, and you see escalating energy bills, then you are most likely dealing with drafty, inefficient units and should replace them as soon as possible.
Rotting or decaying frames
If you have older style wood frames, then the chances are greater that moisture buildup over the years has caused your wood to rot. To compensate, you’ve been caulking and reapplying water sealer or stain to try to minimize the water that seeps inside. These stains can emit VOCs, gasses that emit into the atmosphere and harm the planet.
While ignoring a rotting and decaying frame is not an option, those repairs serve as a precursor of bigger problems in the upcoming years. Once you notice your wood frames are starting to crack, mildew, or rot, it’s time to spend your money on a sturdier and more moisture-resistant upgrade.
Condensation or leaks forming
Failing to replace a rotting wood frame, the incorrect or improper seating of the units by the installers, or a gradual failure of the seal usually results in moisture impacting your glass panes. Condensation, fog, ice, or frost can form inside the window rather than on the outside. Owners of double-pane windows will find the condensation forming between the two glass panes. You can identify it because it’s impossible to wipe off. If the materials are not replaced soon, dangerous mold and mildew will begin to grow around the openings in the frames, and when rain falls, water leakage can occur. This is an unhealthy situation for both your family and Mother Nature.
Difficulty in opening and closing and locking up your windows
The process of closing, opening, and locking up your home should be effortless. Windows that are hard to open, close, or lock are an enormous safety hazard.
Our experts pointed out that not only can you inadvertently leave the casement slightly open, exposing you to seeped air and more energy consumption, but there’s also a serious risk to consider with this.
A unit that is not closed or locked completely is an easy target for a forcible entry point for burglars or intruders. In an emergency situation (like a fire), the window may serve as your best exit route. So, if you find yourself regularly struggling hard to open your windows and/or keep them open, it may be time to begin to think of investing in replacements.
The Combined Benefits of Investing in Replacements—Environmental, Financial and Safety Impacts
While the high cost of replacements might jolt you, consider these incredible benefits when you think of upgrading!
- Save money on your monthly energy bills
- Reduce your carbon footprint by consuming less energy
- Increase your home’s security for you and your family
- Create a more comfortable, season-proof, and draft-free environment
- Boost your home’s curb appeal
- Add value to your house when it’s time to list it for sale
The Bottom Line
Some of these window issues can be fixed with stopgap repairs. However, if the conditions occur with any regularity, then it is safer and more economical—to your family and Mother Earth– to give up on making repairs and invest in replacements.