How to Tell if You Need New Windows or Doors

Have you ever wondered when is a good time to replace your windows and/or doors for your home? We’ve put together some tips on what to look for.


  1. Look at the glass. If it is single-paned (1 piece of glass) then you are most definitely losing a great deal of energy efficiency. Almost all modern windows have multiple panes of glass (2 and sometimes 3). The space between the panes is typically insulated with either argon or krypton gas which acts as an air buffer. Also, glass technology has increased dramatically in the last 20 years or so and many new windows come with reflective coatings that promote greater energy efficiency.

    If your windows have multiple panes of glass but you see fogging or signs of moisture in that space it’s probably time to consider new windows. The fogging or moisture means that the factory seal connecting the panes of glass has a leak and the windows are no longer providing the energy efficiency they were designed to. Not to mention how annoying it can be to look through glass that is fogged up or has moisture streaks on the inside.

  2. Check all the wood trim around your windows – both inside and outside, for signs of rot and moisture, particularly along the bottom edge and the sides of the units. Soft or rotted wood in these places most likely means that water is getting in around your units.
  3. Next time it’s cold or windy, spend a few moments near your windows. See if you notice a draft or if the temperature in the room is significantly cooler near window. It will almost always be a bit cooler near windows because even the best glass will not insulate as well as an insulated wall. However, if the difference is dramatic it may be time for some new units.


  1. On a bright sunny day, take a look around the edges of your door from the inside and see if you notice any daylight coming through. If so, then some new weather stripping may be the answer, but it may also be a sign that your door is finished.
  2. If your door has glass then apply the same criteria to that glass as you would to windows.
  3. Check all of the wood around the interior, and also more particularly the exterior of your door for signs of rot or moisture. It is very common for the bottom edges of a door and the door frame to be rotted. If this is happening it may be introducing moisture to the area below your door. Our customers are sometimes amazed at how much rot has occurred below their door when we take it out.
  4. If your door is older and somewhat dilapidated you may want to consider a new door for security reasons. Older, flimsy door can often be kicked in or pried open rather easily. Deadbolts can be added but if the frame is cheap and the door structure isn’t very solid the deadbolt won’t do too much.

Keep these tips in mind when deciding when is the right time to replace your windows or doors or hire a professional home improvement contractor to help you decide.

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