The best solution to condensation is window replacement. New windows with the latest energy efficiency technology will save you hundreds in electric bills in the long run.
When Dual-Pane Windows Deteriorate
Since windows regulate sun and heat, they influence your comfort in the room. While weatherstripping can prevent some heat loss from around the sides, there is considerable energy loss through the glass. Some products are made with double or triple panes with gas in between the panels to improve efficiency, but in time, the seal that traps the gas can weaken or break. As a result, the windows fog up or develop a layer of dirt and mold between the panels that make visibility difficult and the window unsightly. Unfortunately, these windows can't be cleaned or refilled with gas.
If you have any of these problems, replacing them is the ideal solution. Modern windows with argon gases in between and low-E coating allow ultraviolet and infrared light to pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted. There are variations of low-E glass made for warmer and cooler climates that will contribute to the energy efficiency of your windows.
Other Signs that Indicate the Need for Window Replacement
What are the other signs your windows need replacement? The first sign, of course, is when they no longer operate easily. In the past, they may have been painted shut and now open only with hesitation as old paint blocks part of the track. On older wooden windows, the ropes that operate them may be broken or the frames have swollen or contracted so much over the years, they no longer function smoothly. Even metal or vinyl windows can lose their ease of operation.
Another sign is high energy bills or drafts you can feel that indicate the window seals are not functioning properly. Again, weatherstripping may be a short term fix, but it is not a long term solution.
Staggering your Window Replacement
For many homeowners who need a houseful of new windows, replacing them all at once is too costly. While you can replace them as needed, you face the potential of having a new window stick out like a sore thumb. Experts suggest that you replace windows on one side of the home or on one level all at one time. You will still experience some energy benefits from replacing a few units at a time.
If you stagger the replacement, you may find that the styling or even the glass has changed by the time you buy additional ones. If you buy products from established companies, you are more likely to have the same styles available when you are ready to buy additional ones, although there is no guarantee that the styles haven't changed a bit. Window companies frequently offer discounts and no interest financing that might make replacement windows more affordable.