Wooden windows provide a number of benefits to your home, not least among them the natural aesthetic that wood as a building material conveys. However, like all windows, wooden windows can begin to degrade over time as they are exposed to the elements. This can result in a number of problems for your home. Understanding some of the warning signs associated with wooden windows that are no longer in the best condition can help you figure out when you should think about a window replacement.
One of the most common signs that your wooden windows have reached the end of their life is if you can spot signs of rotting in the frame. This happens normally as water is able to be absorbed into the wood, though it can be put off through regular maintenance and painting. Once wood begins to rot, however, it will slowly become spongy and fall apart.
In a somewhat similar manner to the above point, your wooden windows may be overdue for a replacement if you can't seem to open or close them very easily. Wood that is exposed to temperature fluctuations and moisture exposure can warp or twist over time, deforming its appearance and making it harder for your window to operate – and also allowing more heat to be exchanged with the interior of your home.
Increasing Utility Bills
Another key indication that your windows are no longer doing a good job at sealing out the exterior elements is if you find that your utility bills are increasing at any point in the year without you changing the setting on your thermostat. Older worn windows will allow heat to either enter or exit your home – you may be able to identify this due to drafts and uneven temperature in the area immediately around the offending window, but sometimes the leak can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Replacing your windows can restore their insulative value and ensure that your monthly electricity bills come back down.
Moisture in the Glass
Double-paned windows that have had their seal broken can allow exterior air to enter the space between the panes. You'll be able to tell when this happens because moisture will condensate on the inside of the glass due to the temperature difference between the interior of your home and the outdoors. This problem will slowly get worse, as the condensate can contribute to rotting and wood warping, as mentioned above.