What Are the Impacts of Older Windows?

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What Are the Impacts of Older Windows?

Many homeowners want to make their home energy efficient but don’t know where to start. One strategy to improve household energy efficiency is to replace older windows. While your windows may look fine, problems with older window materials may cause your utility bills to increase. This article explains some of the problems associated with several popular window materials.

Wood Windows May Rot

Whether you live in an older home with original windows or a newer home with wood window frames, there are a couple of things to consider about the materials used in these older windows. While wood window frames provide a rustic look and curbside appeal, if they haven’t been maintained properly, issues often arise.

In regions that are susceptible to heavy moisture such as snow, sleet and heavy rain, wood material contracts, expands and holds moisture. Moisture retention leads to mold and wood rot, which affects the look of the wood and lessens its ability to insulate. An option to protecting older windows is the installation of vinyl cladding.

Vinyl Windows: Pros and Cons

Vinyl window frames are a popular choice for many homeowners. These windows are made with PVC and added UV stabilizers to help prevent the material from breaking down over time. The frames are hollow, which allows insulation to be added. In older windows, the hollow cavities may not be filled with insulation, which makes them less energy efficient as the frame ages.

Several things to consider in older vinyl windows is deteriorated weather stripping that impacts energy efficiency. If a window is difficult to close and lock, it could be due to old hardware that has also degraded over the years. Vinyl windows, like wood, are also susceptible to contraction and expansion, which can lead to joint failures in the operating hardware, as well as the windows become brittle during the winter season and less durable during hot weather.

Aluminum Windows Are Poor Insulators

Aluminum is a strong and lightweight material that conducts heat, so it is not very efficient when it comes to insulation. In older windows made of aluminum, the insulating strip that should have been placed along the frame and sash when the windows were first installed may disintegrate. Weatherstripping may also erode over time. Without proper insulation, condensation can pool along the window bottom, resulting in mold growth.

If you’re considering replacing older windows in your home, contact us for a free proposal. We offer many options including Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows that will add curbside appeal and better energy efficiency to your home.

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