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Window Problems? Quick Tests, Tips and Solutions

Many homeowners, when considering new windows, are not sure if their windows are really costing them money. If you want to know if your windows are losing or letting in excessive heat, cold, noise, and humidity, or are giving you adequate protection, then try these simple tests for fast solutions.

Energy Loss
You'll need two people. One of you will go outside while the other stays inside and shines a flashlight around the perimeter of the window you're testing. The person who is outside watches to see if any light shines through from the flashlight inside. If light is shining through, then the window sealing is not working properly, and you're probably losing expensive energy.

Solutions: You could try replacing your weatherstripping but if that doesn't help, then replacing your windows with either energy-efficient, thermal, low E, or EnergyStar rated alternatives could prevent energy loss and save you money.

When you look out your windows is the glass often foggy? Unless you're boiling a pot of water in every room, then this could be a sign of too much humidity in your home. Excessive moisture can lead to mold which can cause health problems and property devaluation.

Solutions: Reduce humidity by keeping heating and cooling vents open and unobstructed. Today's vinyl, fiberglass and better built wood replacement windows now offer sealed insulated pockets between the panes of glass filled with inert gas. This reduces fogging and increases energy-efficiency. Most window manufacturers give lifetime warranties which means they are confident that their window seals work and stop fogging.

This is an easy test. Listen. If your home is near a freeway, airport, or situated in a busy city, then you're getting a lot of noise pollution--especially if you have older single-pane windows.

Solutions: You could enjoy a much quieter existence with windows such as triple, double pane, (or dual pane) or soundproof windows.

Mother Nature
Harsh environments that have high winds, storms and hail can test your windows and your nerves. If your windows barely "weather the storm" there are helpful alternatives.

Solutions: Impact-resistant or hurricane windows and doors, double-strength, tempered, or laminated glass windows can give you considerably more protection from severe environments.

How is the light level in your home? Does it seem dark or dim even in the daytime, with the lights off? Or maybe there's too much light coming in through your windows from the outside. Too little light can affect your mood and reduce the beauty and comfort of your home. Too much light can fade carpets and upholstery.

Solutions: Glazed, double-glazed or tinted windows; triple pane, double pane, or larger energy-efficient windows.

Broken or Cracked
Usually, it only takes the sight test to know if your windows are broken. If, however, your windows are cracked a little or even a lot, you may not see the need to replace them--or at least immediately. It's important to note that as winter approaches, glass becomes brittle and cold. Distressed glass is a greater hazard. It increases drafts and breakage and puts small children at even greater risk.

Solutions: New replacement windows of any variety-vinyl, aluminum, or wood.

Old and Dangerous
If you have single-paned windows, chances are they are older. Most windows today are either double or triple-paned for better energy-efficiency. An important note--older windows may be made or covered with dangerous materials such as lead paint. After years of use, old windows also tend to be less easy to open and shut which increases the chance of breaking.

Solutions: New replacement windows of any variety triple, double pane, (or dual pane) in either vinyl, aluminum, or wood.

Regardless of your window replacement needs, even if you are just thinking about replacing your existing old and worn windows because they've failed the tests - it just make sense to get your window replacement options from a licensed and preferred window replacement expert in your area.

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