When Should You Replace Your Windows?
Residential windows have an average life span of about 15 years, which means that, inevitably, you’ll need to replace them.
Though you can buy windows and have them installed year-round, there are advantages and disadvantages to a window replacement each season. However, when it all comes down to it, the best time of year to replace windows is when your home needs them — waiting for a specific time may mean higher energy bills.
This guide explores the benefits and drawbacks of replacing windows throughout every season and how to best prepare for the project.
Spring Window Replacement
Spring is a great time of year to have replacement windows installed. Because there is warm weather and your house will be open to the outdoors, you can keep your energy bills low. However, spring is an ideal time to replace windows for many people, so there may be competition for window installers. High demand for window installations can drive the price up, potentially making it the most expensive season to replace your windows.
Tips for Replacing Windows in Spring
Because installing windows in the springtime can be competitive and more expensive, it may not be ideal if you’re on a budget. If you decide to replace your windows in the spring, we recommend the following:
- Plan your installation weeks (or months) to secure window installers.
- Monitor weather conditions. Spring weather can be unpredictable, so prepare for potential delays.
- Search for off-season deals on windows at other times of the year to help save some money.
Summer Window Replacement
Summer is another common time of year for window replacement. With warmer weather and longer days, installations can often be done in a single day, making summertime window installation quick and efficient. Because the weather is generally nice, it will also be a busy time of year for contractors. If demand is high, installation prices may rise as well.
Hotter temperatures can also be hard on your HVAC — cooling your house on a hot day can be difficult. Once your new windows have been installed, you can leave them open at night to help get your house back to a comfortable temperature. Bear in mind that with warming temperatures, wildlife becomes more active, so ensure your window screens have been installed before leaving your windows open overnight.
Tips for Replacing Windows in Summer
Summer is a busy time of year for window installers. It can also bring extreme heat. Here are some things to consider if you’ll be replacing your windows in summer:
- Schedule with an experienced company to get the job done without delays.
- Prepare your home for the installers — it will help the installation get completed quickly.
- If possible, schedule your window replacement for a cooler day of the week to maximize energy savings.
Fall Window Replacement
As temperatures start to cool in fall, you might realize the need to prepare for the cold air drafts in the later months. Though contractors can still be fairly busy, scheduling during fall is often more flexible, making window replacement possible before winter arrives. The cooler temperatures make it an ideal working environment for window installers, resulting in a more efficient installation.
Tips for Replacing Windows in Fall
Fall leaves you time to prepare for maximum energy savings by winter. If you get your windows installed in fall, remember these tips:
- Caulk adheres well in temperatures ranging from 40℉ to 80℉, ensuring a tight seal.
- Window companies will be trying to fulfill annual quotas, which can lead to promotional offers before winter.
- A fall window replacement will leave your home open to the environment, but heating and cooling costs will be lower during temperate weather.
Winter Window Replacement
Winter isn’t a great time to install new windows, but it’s an excellent time to buy new ones. Because winter is an off-season for window replacement, many retailers and contractors offer great discounts. If you’re working within a budget, it can be a good time to purchase and save on materials.
Wintertime deals may come at a cost, though. With the cold weather, your HVAC system will be working overtime, and heating bills may start to add up. While there are ways to reduce heat loss if you’re only replacing a few windows, if you’re replacing all of your windows, it could end up in a major expense to reheat your home.
Tips for Replacing Windows in Winter
If you live in a more temperate climate, don’t mind your house being chilly for a few days, or have somewhere to stay while your home windows are being replaced, getting windows replaced in the winter months can be done quickly and inexpensively. Before you commit, you should compare potential savings vs. the cost of heating. These are some other things to consider:
- As with summer window replacement, preparing for installation ahead of time will help it go more quickly.
- Closing off rooms that are having the windows replaced can help reduce overall heat loss and improve energy efficiency.
- Because scheduling is much more flexible, try to line up installation for a day with mild weather predicted.
How Can You Tell That It’s Time To Replace Your Windows?
Though it’s good to make the most of your windows, waiting to replace old ones can compromise your comfort and raise your heating and cooling costs. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common signs that it’s time to start thinking about replacing your windows.
If you’re close to your windows and feel a draft, it can indicate that the seals are damaged. Bad seals around your windows can lead to indoor temperature instability and higher utility bills. If you feel drafty windows, you should likely buy replacement windows.
If you notice condensation on or between your window’s panes, it’s a sign that the window glazing is losing its effectiveness. Moisture can easily penetrate weak seals and cause condensation to form. Condensation is a definite sign that your windows are aging, and you should plan on replacing them.
Aging windows can jam and stick easily. Not only is this frustrating, but it’s a sign that you probably need new windows. Windows that don’t operate as they should indicate mold, rot, or rust — additional indications to replace your windows.
If you can easily hear what’s happening outside, it’s most likely because your windows don’t provide good insulation. New windows can assist with noise reduction and provide better insulation overall. If things are getting noisy, plan on replacing your windows.
How Can You Prepare for a Window Replacement Project?
Preparing for your window installation ahead of time will help ensure that things move quickly and efficiently. Time is money, especially in extreme temperatures, so being well-prepared is critical to maximizing savings. Here’s how to prepare your home for installation day:
- Clear the workspace. Remove any window treatments, nearby fragile items, and wall hangings.
- Cover up your furniture. Window replacement can be a dusty project. To ensure your furniture isn’t damaged, cover it in a drop cloth and move it away from window openings.
- Deactivate window alarms. If you have a home security system, there may be sensors on the windows. To avoid potential delays, deactivate any alarms connected to the windows of your home.
- Dedicate a workspace for window installers. Creating a space for installers to set up equipment will help the project run efficiently. Leave access to an outlet, and try to provide sheltered space if bad weather is in the forecast.
- Touch up the landscaping. Ensuring window openings are free and clear of branches and shrubbery can help the installation crew move more quickly and easily. Trim back bushes or shrubs to give enough clearance to work on the window’s exterior.
Should You Wait for the Perfect Time of Year Before Replacing Your Windows?
While certain times of the year are better for a new window installation or replacement, the best time to replace your windows is before they cause your energy bill to increase. Around 25%–30% of residential energy use is from heat gain and loss through windows. Updating to energy-efficient windows as soon as possible can drastically improve energy costs and increase the comfort level of your home.
Don’t wait for the perfect time if your home needs new windows. Call a few local window replacement companies for an estimate and start planning your window replacement project.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about window replacement.
FAQs About When to Replace Windows
What Season Is the Best for Replacing Windows?
Although replacing your windows during temperate weather is ideal, you should replace your windows as soon as you need new ones. Holding off for a certain season could result in increased heating and cooling costs.
What Time of Year Are Replacement Windows the Cheapest?
Demand for windows decreases drastically during winter. Suppliers offer promotions and special deals during this time, making buying windows in winter less expensive than in warmer months.
When Should I Replace Windows During a Gut Renovation?
During a gut renovation, windows should be replaced when the wall is structurally sound before installing drywall.