A window replacement project is an investment in your house, but there is also a cost-benefit analysis for when you might replace the windows. You might not be confident about when to make the move so let's discuss some signs it might be time.
Windows should move easily but stay in place once you've stopped moving them. If you're noticing mechanical problems of any type, especially across several windows, it may be time to talk with a window replacement services contractor. For example, a window might slowly drop down once you've set it in position. Some folks cope with this by propping the windows up, but this doesn't look great. It also doesn't solve the problem.
Some windows also can be tough to open. You may notice this with crank models or even ones you move by hand. A bit of machine oil sometimes fixes the issue, but you might not have success with that. If minor fixes don't get the job done, you may need to replace the windows.
Noticeable airflow from a closed window is never a good sign. If indoor and outdoor air is exchanged when the window is closed, there are seal or fit issues somewhere in the structure. Such problems tend to cost money because they lead to losses of warm or cool air, depending on the season.
It also can be difficult to repair these issues without tearing the window apart. At that point, window replacement might be the better solution.
Windows will degrade over time, even if they're made from top-tier materials. A wooden window can absorb moisture and start to rot, and vinyl windows can fade and weaken due to UV exposure.
You may see chips of paint, vinyl, or wood coming from the window if it is beginning to seriously degrade. Similarly, the panes may become loose if the surrounding materials are failing. If the windows have gone from looking classically old to flat-out run-down, it's time to replace them.
Maybe you've had good luck with older windows, but they will eventually get to the point where they show their age regardless. Aged windows are problematic for both visual and practical reasons. On the visual side of the ledger, old windows will make the home look dated. On the practical side, old windows are unlikely to use the newest technologies for insulation and UV protection, so replacement is probably going to be the efficient choice. A company like Meschke Construction, Inc. has more information.