Old windows pose multiple problems for Bay Area home and business owners. First and foremost, they’ll make it harder to feel comfortable indoors because outdated or damaged windows keep your interiors colder during the winter and hotter during the summer.
Perhaps, more importantly, is the reality that old windows mean wasted energy and higher energy bills, not to mention posing risks to your building in terms of moisture issues, mold, and mildew growth, or poor indoor air quality.
5 Signs it’s Time to Update Your Old Windows
As longtime Bay Area window film installers, we often recommend our customers replace their old windows before hiring us to add window film. Our products work best when they’re optimizing the benefits offered by newer window products.
Here’s the good news, if your windows are outdated, odds are you’ll reap some tax benefits from moving forward with window replacements.
If we see any of the following signs, we’ll recommend updating your windows before installing window film to get the best bang for your buck.
They are single-pane windows
Single pane windows are 100% outdated. Any single-pane windows in a home or business should be replaced as soon as you can afford to. These windows do not have the insulation required to prevent solar heat gain or to prevent heated/cooled air from leaving the building through the windows during peak seasons.
Also, odds are that condensation builds up on the interior of your single-pane windows, which means your exterior wall spaces are prone to mold and mildew growth.
That said, if you are not able to afford a whole-building window replacement, the insulation benefits of window film will certainly improve energy efficiency as well as whole home comfort until you’ve saved enough for a window replacement.
There is obvious damage
A cracked or damaged window cannot perform as designed. These should always be replaced. In most cases, replacing damaged windows qualifies for some amount of reimbursement from a homeowner’s insurance policy. It is worth calling to check-in.
Either way, your cracked or seal-compromised window would be replaced as soon as possible to protect your building’s interior and exterior structural integrity. Again, damaged windows cannot possibly serve as energy-efficient windows. You’ll notice an increase in utility spending and anyone living or working near the window will notice a decrease in interior comfort.
As window film installers, we actually refuse to install window film on damaged windows because our film cannot perform as intended, compromising our reputation.
You feel a draft (or penetrating warmth)
In some cases, this may be as simple as replacing caulking or sealant around the window or its frame. If, however, your windows are 20 years old or more or are single-paned, odds are the entire window needs to be replaced.
Read energy.gov’s page on Improving the Energy Efficiency of Existing Windows for information on that topic. We’re happy to report that installing window films is one of their recommendations.
There’s fog (or water droplets) between the panes
Do your windows tend to have fog or water droplets between the panes? This is a sign that the window seal and gas chamber have been compromised. In addition to posing moisture issues in the form of condensation that drips down into your exterior wall spaces, this also means your windows aren’t energy efficient anymore.
Once the insulation chamber (that airtight space between panes) is not working, neither are the insulation properties your windows were designed to provide. Contact the manufacturer or a local, licensed window contractor to schedule an inspection and see what the issue is. In some cases, you may find that a window replacement is still covered under warranty.
Your old windows are cold (or hot!) to the touch
The point of contemporary, energy-efficient windows is that they act as an insulating barrier between the outdoor climate and the interior of your home or business.
On hot days, your windows should be working for you by blocking harmful UV rays and preventing solar heat gain, which helps to minimize the amount of time you need AC. During the cooler months, the insulation properties work in reverse, minimizing the transfer of cold air in, and blocking warm interior air from transferring outside.
If your windows are cold to the touch during the winter, or warm/hot to the touch during the summer months, they aren’t doing their job. Window film can certainly help, but upgraded windows with window film are even better.
Contact Daystar Window Tinting, 510-749-7505, for a free consultation. We’ll confirm whether window film or full window replacements makes more sense for your Bay Area home or business.