Windows & Doors / November 22, 2022

When to Replace Windows & Doors in Your Home

Before we can talk about when to replace windows and doors in your home, it’s important to understand why they should ever be replaced. The short answer is energy efficiency.

Windows and doors significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency. Here’s how it works: Air naturally flows from areas of high concentration (inside) to areas of low concentration (outside). As a result, up to 30 percent of the energy used to heat and cool your home slips through the cracks of your windows and doors. That’s why replacements are a common energy-efficient upgrade.

Broken, damaged, or simply outdated windows and doors can contribute to energy loss. That’s why it’s crucial to check them frequently to ensure maximum efficiency. But you’re probably wondering: When do windows need to be replaced? In the next section below, we’ll discuss the signs you should look for when checking your windows and doors, and when it’s time to replace them.

When to replace home windows

As a general rule of thumb, your home windows should be replaced every 15 to 20 years. The seals will naturally start to weaken or fail around this time, but you might need to replace them sooner if damages occur. Here are six signs that it’s time to replace your home windows:

  1. Visible damage: Chipped, scratched, or broken glass is the most obvious sign that it’s time to replace your windows. The damage makes it more likely for the window to break completely, which can lead to more serious problems such as water seepage, mold, mildew, and pests, as well as energy loss.
  2. Noticeable draft: A draft means the air from your heating and cooling system is seeping out of your windows, and the outdoor air is seeping into your home. This means your heating and cooling system needs to work much harder to maintain the temperature you’ve set. You’ll notice the extra cost on your energy bills.
  3. Higher energy bills: If your energy bills have slowly crept up over time with no explanation, your windows are likely to blame.
  4. Condensation (inside): Condensation on the inside of your windows typically means air is leaking. But there’s no need to worry if you notice condensation on the outside of your windows; all this means is that it’s warmer and more humid outside than it is inside.
  5. Faded carpet & furniture: If the carpet, furniture, rugs, and decor around your windows are starting to fade, your windows don’t offer sufficient UV protection. This could simply mean your windows are old, as modern windows tend to use low-emittance glass to prevent UV rays and solar heat from passing through.
  6. No sound-dampening: Here’s another sign that your windows could simply be old. Modern double- or triple-pane windows dampen sound with additional insulation. If you live near a busy intersection or just have loud neighbors, replacing your old windows could be appealing.

When to replace exterior doors in your home

Exterior doors can last a few decades. But, similar to windows, there are various problems that could call for an early replacement. Here are four signs that it’s time to replace your exterior doors:

  1. Lack of curb appeal: Your front door is the centerpiece of your home’s curb appeal. If it’s outdated or unappealing, it could decrease the value of your home when you try and sell it.
  2. Noticeable draft: If you can feel air drafting inside your home from your exterior door, it’s time for a replacement. Gaps between the frame and door occur naturally over time, and the only solution is a new door. It’ll lower your energy bills in addition to keeping the draft out.
  3. Visible damage: Cold winters and other harsh weather conditions can warp or crack doors and, over time, damaged doors won’t be able to function as they should. If your exterior doors are weathered or cracked, you should consider a replacement.
  4. You feel unsafe: If you don’t feel safe inside your home because your exterior door(s) are weak, it’s time to consider investing in the stronger door(s) that are more resistant to forced entry.

Should I replace my windows & doors all at once?

Yes, if your windows and doors are more than 20 years old, it makes sense to replace them all at once. You’ll save money on installation costs, as the installation team can complete the job within a couple of days. There’s also less paperwork, less time, and less stress involved when you replace your windows and doors all at once.

How to choose the right windows & doors

When replacing your windows, it’s important to understand the different types of windows (single-pane vs. double-pane), frames, and glass, as well as the warranty offered by the dealer and your budget. Let’s discuss each.

  • Single-pane windows: Single-pane windows offer less insulation than double-pane windows. Even new single-pane windows can result in higher energy bills compared to double-pane windows, and they could let in more heat from sunlight as well.
  • Double-pane windows: Double-pane windows are far more effective when it comes to insulating your home. As a result, they’re a better choice for energy efficiency.
  • Window frames: The most common window frames are vinyl, aluminum, composite, wood-clad, and wood. 
    • Vinyl has grown popular for its combination of affordability, superior insulation, and low maintenance requirements. 
    • Aluminum is the most durable frame. 
    • Composite and wood-clad are effective and low-maintenance. 
    • Wood is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing, but sanding, painting, sealing, and maintaining the frames will be necessary.
  • Glass: Tempered glass is the smartest choice for windows in your home. It’s four times stronger than untreated glass. And if tempered glass breaks, it’s designed to crumble into small, dull-edged pieces instead of shattering into dangerous shards. Most window dealers offer add-ons such as tinting and noise reduction, which could be appealing to many homeowners.
  • Warranty: Warranty duration for windows can range anywhere from five years to lifetime. Generally, lower-quality windows have lower warranty periods. If you replace your windows with Mauzy, we offer a lifetime warranty covering parts and labor, as well as accidental glass breakage.

As for doors, there are a number of different types of doors you might need to replace in your home. For our purposes, we’ll focus on exterior doors, which are entry doors and patio doors. Let’s discuss the different types of each.

  • Wood entry doors: Wood entry doors are admired for their appearance. But it comes at a cost, as they are the most expensive type of entry door. Wood entry doors also require routine maintenance, as they are prone to rotting, expanding, and warping.
  • Fiberglass entry doors: Fiberglass is less susceptible to harsh weather. Unlike wood, fiberglass entry doors will not warp, expand, or rot. They come in a variety of finishes, including wood grain if you want to enjoy the aesthetic of wood entry doors without the maintenance.
  • Steel entry doors: Steel entry doors offer maximum security, insulation, and durability. And, like fiberglass entry doors, they come in a variety of finishes, including the popular wood grain.
  • Sliding patio doors: Sliding glass doors are the most popular type of patio door. They operate similarly to sliding windows as they move along tracks with rollers, allowing for easy opening and closing. Sliding glass doors also help to maximize the natural light in your home.
  • French patio doors: For a more elegant appearance, you could opt for french patio doors that open outward or inward instead of sliding.

How to measure for a windows & doors replacement

You’ll need a tape measure, along with a smartphone or pen and paper to track your measurements. It’s as simple as measuring the height and width, but there are some important nuances worth mentioning.

Here’s how to measure your windows:

  • Measure the width: From the inside, measure the distance from the inner edge of one side jamb to the opposite side. The side jamb is a vertical piece of trim on each side of your windows. If your windows are finished with drywall instead of jambs, simply measure the distance between the drywall on each side.
  • Measure the height: Measure the distance from the sill of the window to the head jamb. If your windows are finished with drywall at the top, simply measure up to the drywall instead of the head jamb.

And here’s how to measure your exterior doors:

  • Measure the width: From the inside, measure the distance from the inner edge of one side jamb to the opposite side.
  • Measure the height: Measure the distance from the bottom threshold to the head jamb.

Need to replace or update your home’s existing windows & doors?

If you live in the San Diego area, contact Mauzy for your window and door replacement. Not only will our trained professionals help guide you toward making the right decision, but​​ they will let you know what to expect during the replacement of your windows and/or doors.

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