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6 Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Windows

In this article, we will cover:

  • Signs your windows need replacing
  • The average lifespan of different types of windows
  • The pros and cons of replacing your windows

Sometimes, it is obvious when you need to replace your windows. When a breakage has occurred, for example. For the most part, however, it can be difficult to know when windows need replacing or just need some care and attention.

For example, if it is just a question of aesthetics, other options, such as painting your UPVC windows, could offer cheaper solutions.

Replacing your windows can be expensive, so it is important to be sure it is necessary before committing. 

So, how often should windows be replaced? 

Well, there are a few clear signs that your windows are not performing at the optimal level and are no longer fit for purpose.

Windows Are Leaking Or Draughty:

The first sign you need to consider is if your windows are letting in water or causing drafts in your home. If a window has not been installed or sealed properly, there may be a gap between the frames, causing drafts and potentially even leaking water into your home. Not only can draughts cause higher heating bills at a greater cost to you and the environment, but leaks can cause water damage in your home. Aside from the expense and discomfort, draughts and dampness caused by leaks can be detrimental to your health.

Replacing affected windows with new, energy-efficient upgrades can help lower your energy bills and carbon footprint. You should also find temperature control easier to manage, creating a more pleasant and comfortable environment. The good news is that this is unlikely with all your windows unless they are old, so you should only have to replace a few windows.

Difficulty Opening and Closing:

Another sign your windows may need replacing is if you have difficulty opening and closing them. This could be caused by:

  • Poor installation
  • Low-quality frames and hardware
  • Warped frames
  • Damaged hardware 

Not only is this inconvenient, but it puts you at a greater security risk. It also means your windows are no longer energy efficient. 

If you cannot fully open your windows, you may not get adequate ventilation and could be at risk of condensation and dampness. This could indicate that the frame has warped (if timber) and expanded, so it no longer quite fits, and you can’t fully open the window.

On the other hand, if you can’t fully close your windows, it could make it easier for someone to break in. You will also let warm air escape, and let cold air and potentially rainwater in. 

Sometimes, a good clean or new hardware is all that is required. In other cases, the windows will need replacing.

Windows Are Only Single-Glazed:

If your home has single-glazed windows, you should replace them as soon as you are financially able. Single glazing offers little protection from the elements, is energy inefficient, blocks very little sound and causes your house to become very uncomfortable. When it’s cold, single-glazed windows provide only a low level of insulation (typically giving them a u value of 5.0-6.0), leading to higher heating bills. You typically lose 10 – 20% of your home’s heat through single glazing.

When it’s hot, single-glazing doesn’t effectively block UV rays, making it harder to control the room’s temperature. 

You also get little to no protection from ambient sounds.

Single glazing isn’t suitable for modern living and is gradually being phased out by the UK Government. Building regulations state that new builds cannot have single-glazing for all the reasons mentioned. 

Potential buyers are likely to be put off by single-glazed windows as they know they will need to replace them, so it can also affect your property value. 

Double or triple glazing offers much better insulation, energy efficiency, noise reduction, and security, making your life more comfortable and your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Advantages of Bi-fold Doors

  • They offer space-saving benefits due to the concertina design
  • They can be made to most sizes and specifications
  • They are suitable for indoor, entrance or exit use
  • They are ideal for ‘open plan’ living 
  • They maximise the natural light in your home
  • They offer wide uninterrupted views
  • They require very little maintenance (depending on the materials used)
  • They are safe and secure 
  • They are attractive and can increase curb appeal
  • They can add value to a home
  • They can be customised to suit personal preferences

The Disadvantages of Bi-fold Doors 

  • They can be expensive to install over larger areas
  • Due to the low level, excess water can be an issue without adequate drainage
  • Large bi-fold door installations can eat into space when in their folded or ‘open’ position
  • It can be labour-intensive to open and close the doors for frequent access in large spaces 
  • There could be privacy issues if the bi-fold doors are poorly positioned

When it’s loud outside:

If you live in a busy city centre, close to a late license venue, near a train station or on an airport flight path, you may suffer from excessive ambient noise. This is the noise that infiltrates your home from outside. It can do so due to poor insulation, single glazing, or draughty windows. 

Noise pollution can cause you to lose sleep, be unable to work, damage your hearing and negatively affect your mental health.

Replacing your windows with triple glazing or, better yet, acoustic glass can significantly improve your quality of life. Our acoustic triple glazing can be used in any type of window and is invisible to the naked eye. A special lamination stiffens the glass, preventing ambient noise from penetrating the window. Combined with airtight seals, this acoustic glass also offers a higher level of energy efficiency and security.

Condensation and Moisture:

Some condensation at certain times may be nothing to worry about. If you are experiencing excessive moisture and condensation, particularly on the inside of your windows, you should consider replacing them. There are ways to stop condensation on your windows but they will be largely ineffective if your windows are old, damaged or poorly installed. 

Condensation can cause dampness, poor air quality and mold which can spread to other areas of the home. Such issues can exacerbate existing health conditions and cause a decline in mental and physical well-being, so it’s important not to let condensation remain on your windows.

You’re renovating your home:

If you are renovating your home, either for personal use or to sell, replacing your windows is a smart investment. 

Not only can new windows enhance your home’s aesthetics, but the return on investment is high when you consider savings in energy bills and the potential boost to your property value. 

Replacing your windows can be seen as futureproofing your home. As the UK experiences ever more extreme temperatures and weather conditions, it will become necessary to upgrade the design of our homes.

What is a good Window Lifespan?

The lifespan of a window depends on the location, style, quality of manufacturing and installation, and the materials used. As a rough guide:

Pros and Cons


  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Better insulation and ventilation
  • Better temperature control for a more comfortable home
  • Lower energy bills and carbon footprint
  • Enhanced appearance 
  • Higher level of security – advanced locking systems etc
  • Better acoustic protection
  • Increased curb appeal and potential property value
  • Futureproofs your home


  • Depending on the number, size, and style of the windows, they can be expensive to replace
  • You may be limited in when you can have new windows installed

Why Choose MWF for your Windows and Doors?

Manchester Window Factory sells and installs a variety of casement and sliding sash windows and doors in all shapes and sizes, made from the highest quality aluminium, timber, and UPVC. 

If you are looking to replace your windows, we can talk through the different choices with you to help you find the best match. We can also arrange installation at a convenient time for you. 

Fill in our online contact form for a free no-obligation quote, or call or email us for more information. You can also arrange a face-to-face chat at our Altrincham showroom.

Should I replace all windows at once?

Most people will think of their windows as a complete set, assuming they should all be replaced at the same time. Replacing all your windows at once will ensure a coherent look and finish. However, not everyone has the budget to do so. Upgrading some of your windows is better than replacing none of them. If you are on a budget, prioritise which rooms you use most/have the most serious issues. Start there. The reason for the replacements will also determine how many windows you should replace in one go. For example, if you are experiencing noise pollution, you may want to replace the windows in your bedrooms and home office with acoustic glass. Double or triple-glazed ‘normal’ glass may suffice for other areas of the home in the interim. Replacing all your windows at once in the winter could also leave you open to draughts and exposure to the elements until the installation is complete. Most professional fitters will replace windows one room at a time in the winter.

When is the best time of year to replace windows?

While you will likely benefit most from new windows in the winter, winter weather isn’t the optimal time for window installation. Firstly, homeowners are advised to see how their current windows perform over the winter before replacing them. Secondly, there are fewer daylight hours to get the installation done. Moisture in the air can stop the sealant from setting, and it could take longer if windows are installed one at a time. On the flip side, window fitters typically have less work in the winter, so may be more flexible with dates and could offer a discount. You will also see the benefits immediately. Summer also offers disadvantages and advantages for installing windows. The weather is likely to be better, there are more daylight hours, and you don’t have to worry about getting cold while the windows are fitted. However, fitters are busier and less flexible on dates and times, so they can charge more. There may still be moisture in the air affecting the sealant, and insects can enter your home through the holes created by the removed windows. As such, the best time for having windows installed is in the spring, on a dry day.