Making the decision to replace the windows in your home is not one to be taken lightly. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does offer some tax credits as an incentive for homeowners who choose to upgrade to more Energy Star rated windows. Energy Star itself sometimes offers rebate incentives as well. Also, replacing the windows in your home can improve its resale value – a real boon if you are thinking about selling your house.

In this post, learn how to know when it is time to replace your home’s windows.

When Your Energy Costs Keep Rising

There are a few ways that old windows can contribute to an escalating energy bill. One key reason is poor seal and insulation. As the frame around the window pane becomes more loose and the seals crack and fray, more air leaks in and out of the house, making it harder to control the temperature inside. This often means you have to run your air conditioner or heater more to keep the temperature and humidity levels constant.

Another common way old windows can impact your energy bill is failure to block the heat. The new breed of Energy star energy efficient windows keep the sun’s heat at bay as well as blocking harmful UV rays.

Your Windows are Worn and Unattractive

If you plan to live in your home for a long time and your homeowner’s association hasn’t contacted you about the appearance of your windows, this may not be an issue. But if you want to sell your home and make a profit, then updating your windows can really give your home a facelift as well as a security boost.

“Curb appeal” is the very first impression a buyer will have when approaching your house. As well, potential thieves will make an impression of how secure (or not) your home is based on what the exterior looks like. If your windows look old and untended, or if they are cracked or warped in places, thieves may decide you are an easy mark.

If you look at your home from the street view and notice that your windows take away from its overall curb appeal, this is a definite sign you should consider updating them for both the sake of your home’s resale value and for your own home security.

Condensation Forms on the Window Panes

When condensation begins to form on your window panes, this is a sign that your windows are no longer sealing efficiently. It can also be a sign that you are at risk for the growth of mildew or mold spores in the interior walls of your home, which can lead to a bigger mold remediation problem later on.

Untreated condensation can cause the surrounding walls to warp and deteriorate, which can also make it more difficult to open or close your windows fully. Once you see rust or wood rot forming, you can know without a doubt that it is time for a window replacement.

Getting the Best Price for New Windows

If you have several windows that all need to be replaced, you can often use this to negotiate a better price with a local contractor or distributor. Also be sure to check on the Energy Star website for any rebates available to homeowners in your zip code. And check with your tax accountant to find out what you need to do to qualify to take the IRS’s energy efficiency upgrade tax credit at tax time.

Finally, don’t forget to factor in the savings you will reap on your energy bill by installing new energy efficient windows!