It’s easy to take the components of our home for granted until they fall apart and we realize how important they were. A working garage door opener, doors that lock, and that one faucet which, for whatever reason, insists on dripping loudly every time you’re trying to fall asleep. Another part of your house that is important to maintain is your windows and your window screens. As long as they don’t have more smudges on them than the tables in a kindergarten classroom, windows aren’t often thought of for anything more than a quick cleaning. However, you may be losing money from them in their current state if there are other issues with them. Here are a few reasons why they’re important to maintain and how to do so.
If your windows were installed improperly, or have cracks, you could be losing money due to poor insulation. Studies have shown that poorly insulated windows can account for up to 10% of your heating or cooling bill. That’s potentially a lot of money that could be easily remedied. If the frame is cracked, caulk and seal them to avoid losing any more heat or cool air to the outdoor elements. If your windows have been installed improperly, and before you make any drastic changes, consult a professional to see if a simple fix can be made before you make any major purchases.
There’s a good chance additional moisture is getting into your home if a glass crack or alignment is substantial, This could cause water damage, or in the worse cases, structural damage (which can be a particularly costly repair). Another potential problem, if your windows aren’t sealed properly, are bugs. Cracks provide easy access for small insects to sneak their way into your home like tiny ninjas. Like above, getting the help of a professional to fix your glass and/or sealing the crack if possible is the best course of action. If there has been a serious insect build up, then consulting a professional and potentially getting an exterminator are both good ideas.
You could be putting your home at risk if your windows don’t close properly, were installed poorly, or have dirt and debris preventing them from locking. Windows are one of the easiest points of entry for potential burglars to enter through, but they could also pose a risk in the event of an emergency like a fire, where they could be the only exit. In older homes, this can be especially problematic since they may have to be propped open for most of the day to fully seal the outdoors out. This creates a further issue in a crisis situation. Make sure to lock your windows when you’re not using them, and fix and replace locks to ensure your home is properly sealed and safe.
In addition to windows themselves, window screens can wear down and cost you money when they need to be replaced if not properly maintained. Prevent this by cleaning them at least one to two times a year to ensure your screens resemble a mesh more than a drainage grating. If the metal or wood of a window frame is exposed, it can wear down much faster without a painted layer sealing out the harsh elements. Glass cracks, in particular, can compromise the integrity of a window very quickly. Frequent rain and freezing can also extend the cracks further as the water expands inside the crack when freezing. Make sure to fix or replace windows if you notice any cracks as soon as possible to prevent the glass from breaking or shattering.
Windows are a big stylistic part of a home, and can really improve the appearance of any house. Obviously, if they aren’t working properly, or are no longer insulating your home as they should be, it can also be a good time to replace and/or update them. If you’re looking to restore your home to its original look, windows are a great place to start as well. Just keep in mind that even after restoring older versions of them, they may not insulate as well as newer ones.
While not always at the forefront of home improvement, windows provide both passive and active benefits when maintained and cleaned properly. Insulation, home security, and natural light all come from quality windows (and window screens) and help make your home that much better.