1. Drafty Rooms
If your home's thermostat is telling you that your home is at an ideal temperature yet you still feel uncomfortable, chances are that your windows are drafting outdoor air into your rooms. Windows are strongly affected by the airflow around them. They require modern insulation technologies and techniques to keep them air-tight. You can check your windows for drafts by slowly moving a stick of incense or a smoke pencil around the interior frame. This test is most effective when it's windy outside.
2. Worn or Rotting Window Frames
If your existing windows were improperly installed, painted or maintained, inclement weather can cause frames and sills to rot and decay, potentially damaging your home's structure. Peeling paint and soft wood are clear signs that windows need attention. Frames and sills that are misaligned are another clear indication that replacement is needed.
3. Shakes, Rattles and Noise
Windows that rattle every time that someone in your household opens or closes a door are sending you a clear message that something is amiss. Loose windows can pose a real danger to you and your family. Old units also do little to block outside noise. New insulated windows are not only great at blocking drafts, but help muffle outside noise as well.
4. Rising Monthly Energy Bills
It's easy to assume that increases in your monthly energy bill are due to rising energy costs, but a closer examination may reveal an unaccounted-for increase that can indicate drafty or energy inefficient windows. Today's modern windows can be far more energy efficient than the windows that came with your home. Replacing old units with double-pane insulated glass windows can reduce your energy bills by as much as 25 percent.
5. Increased Maintenance
Sometimes, windows let you know that they need replacement by making increased demands on your time and wallet. If you find yourself having to caulk, seal and weatherstrip your windows frequently in order to keep drafts at bay, replacement may be a cost-effective solution. Modern windows feature materials and finishes that don't require much attention to keep them weather-tight and looking beautiful.
Brendan is the content editor for CalFinder, a free service designed to make window replacement projects as easy as possible, by connecting homeowners with licensed and insured local contractors. CalFinder contractors install major window brands, including Andersen Windows and many others.