According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), entry doors last 30 years on average. The lifespan of windows is 15 to 20 years. Add hurricanes and severe weather into the mix, however, and that is not always the case.
Watch out for these signs of critical wear–signs that may indicate that it’s time for new windows or a new door.
1. It’s Cold All the Time
A perpetually drafty home is a sign that doors and/or windows may need replacing. In fact, your household’s heating and cooling may be going right out the window… literally. Air leaks render 30% of heating and cooling energy pretty much useless. What are some ways to check to see if you have costly air leaks in your home?
- Light some incense. No, not to mask pet smells or relax after a long day. Close all windows and doors. Turn off the furnace and water heater, just to be safe. Then use exhaust vents near windows and doors to create pull-back airflow. Once the air is flowing, walk around with your stick of incense holding it close to suspected leaky doors and windows. In the absence of leaks, the smoke will continue to swirl and billow upwards like normal. If there is a break or bend in the smoke, there is a good chance that there is an air leak nearby.
- Grab a flashlight. If you think you can see noticeable gaps near your doors and windows, you’re probably right. If you want to remove all doubt, wait until nighttime and ask a friend to help you. Stand inside where you suspect leaks are coming from. Ask a friend or family member to go outside and shine the light into these gaps and crevices. If you can see distinct light beams, you have found the source or sources of your leaks.
- Call in the professionals. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a professional energy audit can lower household energy bills by as much as 5 to 30%. While it may be tempting to opt for do-it-yourself (DIY) methods, a professional audit is often well worth the cost over time.
2. Windows And Doors Aren’t Shutting Properly
This one is easily testable at home. Place a dollar in a doorframe or window frame, and close it. If you can easily pull the dollar out of the frame, it may be time to address severe air leaks or talk to wholesale windows and doors manufacturers about replacing these fixtures altogether. Keep in mind that states like Florida often require storm windows with double panes. Talk to wholesale windows and doors before replacing ill-fitting or critically drafty doors and windows.
Improperly installed, windows and doors pose a safety risk. Doors that do not catch, windows that do not quite close, or windows with single panes are hazardous. For the front door, check to make sure it is not an easy fix, like a loose latch. If it’s not, ask wholesale windows and doors manufacturers about doors, impact sliding doors, and high impact windows. Even wholesale windows and doors will save you money while keeping out drafts and protecting your house from high winds. In some cases, keeping doors and windows up to standards is mandatory. In Florida, by law, inspectors will enter your condo every 40 years. If windows cannot withstand hurricane-strength winds, you are unlikely to pass inspection.
3. Things Are Growing on Your Window or Doorframes
If your doorframe or window frames are growing things, then, yes, there is a very good chance that you need to replace them. Similarly, warped and rotting wood is another telltale sign it is time to upgrade. Look for rotting or warped wood by gently pressing on frames. Doorframes and window frames should be sturdy all-around. If any particular spot feels malleable or soft, it is a sign of a problem.
Windows and doors are sturdy and long-lasting, but that does not mean they last forever. Replacing your front door or any exterior door may entail an impressive return on investment (ROI) of up to 74.9%! Review the red flags above, and decide if it’s time to replace old, inefficient fixtures.