Think before you replace: What to know before buying new windows

Last month, the oppressive summer heat pushed temperatures into the mid-90s across much of the Midwest. HVAC systems worked hard to keep homes cool amid the heat wave. As temperatures soared, many members started looking around for ways to stay cool without driving up the cost of their home energy bill.

Drafty windows that allow heat to leak into the house are often one of the first things our members blame when the house gets stuffy and the energy bill rises. But our energy efficiency programs manager Laura Matney is quick to point out that windows aren’t always the big energy suck you think they are. 

To be sure, drafty windows can be an issue. Before you faint from the sticker shock of window replacements, consider investing in insulation and sealing


Do I have drafty windows?

Rather than rush to the assumption that your windows need to be replaced, get the opinion of an expert first. Schedule a home energy assessment with your co-op’s energy advisor. They’ll help you identify ways you can improve the efficiency of your home and point you toward programs and incentives to get the job done. You might find that your windows are just fine. Or you can resolve an issue by installing storm windows or adding curtains, rather than replacing existing ones.

When is it time to replace my windows?

Of course, there will come a time when your windows need to be replaced or repaired. How do you know when that time has arrived? It’s usually more obvious than you think. Here are some common warning signs to look out for: 

  • Faulty window operation
  • Excessive condensation between window panes
  • Decay and water damage on window frames
  • Severe storm damage

Don’t make any rash decisions just because the last days of summer have brought you to your boiling point. Take an informed approach to understand whether your windows are really the source of your discomfort. Your local energy advisor can help. Contact us today to learn more.