Just Ask Jake: Is It Time For New Windows?

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Last updated on December 10, 2022

Homeowner Wonders When You Should Replace Your Windows

Jake Schloegel, CR President and Founder
Jake Schloegel, CR
President and Founder

Jake Offers Tips When Considering Replacing Your Old Windows



How do you know when it’s time to replace your windows? Mine are probably 30-40 years old, but they have storm windows over top so I think it’s helping keep the heat in. I know buying windows is a BIG expense, so I’d prefer to hold off as long as I can.



Dear Bob,

Here are 4 things to look at when deciding to replace your windows.

1.  Age of Windows: Unlike wine, windows do not improve with age; in fact, most windows deteriorate over time. Windows made years ago are not made to today’s energy efficiency  standards. A lot of expensive energy is wasted through old windows. Here’s a good website to visit:  http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-performance-ratings-windows-doors-and-skylights. At this website you can learn about Heat Gain and Loss. These properties can be measured and rated according to the following energy performance characteristics:

  • U-factor is the rate at which a window, door, or skylight conducts non-solar heat flow.
  • Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC)
 is the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window, door, or skylight — either transmitted directly and/or absorbed, and subsequently released as heat inside a home.
  • Air leakage is the rate of air movement around a window, door, or skylight in the presence of a specific pressure difference across it.
  • Visible transmittance (VT) is a fraction of the visible spectrum of sunlight (380 to 720 nanometers), weighted by the sensitivity of the human eye, that is transmitted through the glazing of a window, door, or skylight.
  • Light-to-solar gain (LSG) is the ratio between the SHGC and VT. It provides a gauge of the relative efficiency of different glass or glazing types in transmitting daylight while blocking heat gains. The higher the number, the more light transmitted without adding excessive amounts of heat. This energy performance rating isn’t always provided.

2.  Appearance and Condition of Windows: Windows seem to have a fair amount of wood rot, due to water penetration issues. If you need wood repair work done on your windows, you are most likely ready for new windows. Older windows are often difficult to operate too.

3.  Noise Control: A quieter living environment is often mentioned when we install new windows for clients. If you live on a busy street the noise reduction is an added benefit.

4.  Maintenance: New windows are easier to maintain. The sashes typically tilt in for glass cleaning and there are no storm windows to clean either.

Bottom line, Bob, 30 to 40-year old windows make excellent candidates for replacement. I hope this helps.


Do you have a home repair or maintenance question? Just Ask Jake is just a click away.