Let’s face it, with being a homeowner comes the responsibility of maintenance which is not usually something we enjoy, however, it is necessary. Years of use can wear out windows in different ways. Are you trying to decide if it is time to replace your old windows but not sure if it is necessary? Here are some telling signs that it is time to do so. Feeling Drafts in Your Home Windows are meant to be a barrier from the inside to the outside and you should never feel air around your windows. Even if a draft is not obvious, it still could exist. Slowly move a candle around the edge of your windows, if the flames flickers it means that your windows are drafty. Difficulty Opening or Shutting Your Windows If your having problems opening or shutting your windows, it is time to replace them. Several reasons could be the cause of this issue. Wood and metal windows with time can rot or rust causing them to not operate correctly. Double Hung and single hung windows can have balance issues as they age which effect the mechanism that keeps the window up when its open. This can be a potential hazard since the window can slam shut spontaneously. Windows Have Condensation or Fog in Between The Glass If you notice fog or condensation in between windows that have double or triple panes, it is most likely, seal failure. If the seals fail it allows moisture to enter the inside of the window and air will condense on the glass. This indicates that the insulation in the window is no longer doing its job which is to create a barrier to the outside air. Sometimes a white film will also be present which is from calcium deposited into the glass from condensation. If this film is present it is safe to assume that the insulated glass has failed and needs replaced. High Energy Bills If your heating and cooling bills are high or have risen, it may be simply that your windows are not energy efficient. There are specific guidelines placed by the Department of Energy for features a window must have to qualify as ENERGY STAR ® rated. The benefit to replacing your windows is new energy-efficient windows will eventually pay for themselves by lowering your heating and cooling costs. Even if your home is newer, the windows may not be considered energy efficient. The truth is that some builders focus their financial resources on cosmetic features while trying to save on windows. If this is the case, you still may need to consider replacing your windows to avoid high energy bills.