If you live in an old or historic home, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to replace your old windows with new, modern windows. Replacement windows are often prized for their energy efficiency and ease of maintenance. However, they don’t have the historic charm of old windows and they do come with a few problems that older windows don’t share.
Old windows were always built to last as long as possible. Whether they were made with wood or steel frames, they were designed to function smoothly and simply and to stay in good condition with modest maintenance. If you have wood window frames, for example, you will need to strip and repaint them every so often to ensure they are continuously protected from the weather.
New windows are more energy efficient than old windows because they have multiple panes and specialized coatings that reduce energy transfer across the glass. They are generally more complicated than traditional windows and use a lot of proprietary parts. This means you can’t necessarily repair them. Instead, you simply have to replace them every few decades.
Whether you choose to keep your old windows or to pursue replacement windows depends on how you want to maintain your home.