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Windows are often a given. We think about replacing parts in the HVAC system, replacing batteries in remotes, bulbs in lamps, the carpets, and virtually every other part of our home. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your windows? Maybe you don’t even know that your windows could or should be replaced. As a general rule of thumb, houses at least two decades old that still have their original windows should be inspected.

But let’s say you don’t have original windows or are not sure. How do you know if your current windows need to be replaced with modern upgrades?

The first thing to do is to take a look at them. Are they wood or aluminum framed? That might be masking problems you don’t even know are happening.

Simply looking at your windows won’t tell you the whole story. Not every issue is obvious to the naked eye, especially the untrained eye. Below we’ve outlined some of the most common symptoms you might experience around your house that could be traced back to windows in need of replacing.

High Energy Bills

To be fair, high energy bills can come from a number of different faulty parts of your house. But if you’ve ruled out the obvious suspects, take a look at your windows. If you find your house simply unable to maintain warmth, despite proper function of the thermostat and heater, then take a look at the windows. Is there a noticeably chilly air near the pane?

You could be losing heat in your house through a window with a leaky seal or outdated insulation. If you don’t notice a chill in the air, use a match to see if there seems to be a minor draft coming through any of the seams on the windows. Even small leaks in the seams can lead to huge spikes in your energy bill.


It should be noted right off the bat that not all condensation is bad. However, if you start to notice condensation building up between window panes, that’s a sign that there is a seam malfunction. This can lead to leaks, both from precipitation and drafts. No matter what, condensation that can’t be wiped away is a sign that it’s time for new windows.


The root of this problem may be visible to the naked eye. If you take a look at your window frames and see any sort of damage, it’s time to replace. But that damage won’t always be blatantly obvious. Sometimes it manifests as leaks during bad weather. If your window is letting in precipitation, it’s time for new ones.

Difficult Functioning

Windows are supposed to move smoothly when opening and closing. You shouldn’t have to shove or listen to whining, high pitched sounds as the pane squeaks against the frame. If you test out your windows and find they’re very difficult to open and close or making some obnoxious noises during the process, it’s time for new windows

Related Questions

What is the Best Window Material?

You want to make sure if you’re upgrading, that you’re actually upgrading, right? So what is the best material for a brand new window frame? Fiberglass is a step up from older, wooden frames. It stands up to use and is durable throughout the seasons. Aluminum and vinyl are also good options for synthetic upgrades from wood.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay?

A lot goes into the cost of replacing a window. This includes material costs and labor costs, on top of the standard fee. The range generally tends to be $300-$700 per window for your average home windows. Ornate or higher end windows will go above that range in cost per window replacement.

Your windows keep the weather out. And as they start to decay and stop working, you’ll notice it very quickly. But if you want to take care of the issue before it starts to show up on your energy bills, follow the guide above to take a look and know what to do if you do find that your windows are in need of an upgrade.

Who Should I call?

Need new windows? Start with a residential home improvement contractor near you. From new home renovations to complete remodels, 180 Contractors Milford, MI is your source for window installation. We have installed windows on a variety of homes throughout Michigan. We listen to our customers and work hard to address all the unique design, budget, and functional needs of your project. Working with top product manufacturers and experienced window replacement experts, we provide our clients with recommendations and solutions to their window and door needs. Call for a Free Estimate!

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