7 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Windows

7 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Windows

An old window might look okay from afar but are there issues lurking around the very panes that you have loved for years? Well, here at Merivale Windows we know our way around a window in Ottawa, and we have put together a quality list that will help showcase the signs that you might need to think about replacing your windows. So, without further adieu, here are the seven signs it’s time to replace your old windows!

7 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Windows


Have you noticed a cold draft coming from your window or certain rooms that are a little chillier without any real explanation? It might be time to chat about replacement windows. As windows age, their ability to be airtight gradually starts to decrease, which results in cold air entering the air through either a gap in the frame or through the panes themselves. If you do notice larger gaps between the frame and the window itself, you should call Merivale Windows to take a look. However, if you are only dealing with a draft, you will need to start looking at your options in terms of window replacements. Drafts are not a significant concern during the summer months, but when it comes to winter, especially here in Ottawa, you will start to notice cooler air in certain rooms. This cooler air will lead to increased furnace use during the cold months, which in turn will lead to high energy bills. Cool air and drafts can come from other sources, but cool air by a window is certainly a sign that it might be time to look into window replacement.

Increased Energy Costs

Here in Ottawa, energy costs are a discussion point for many households, but if you have started to notice an increase in costs that is not accounted for it might be time to take a look at your windows. Generally, energy companies in the Ottawa area have committed to in-depth billing to ensure that their clients know exactly what is included in the bill. There are charges such as hot water rentals, delivery, taxes and other assorted costs, but the actual usage is where you should pay attention. Are you noticing increased use in peak times when you usually are at work? Is there a spike during the months where the temperature is drifting well below zero degrees, and your furnace is seemingly always on? The secret to lower energy bills is limiting the use of energy during peak times and conserving where you can. Due to increased costs associated with energy bills, energy costs are starting to become one of the most significant expenses in the Province of Ontario, and new windows could help alleviate some of these costs. Instead of continually paying ridiculous energy bills, why not reinvest some of that money into your home and replacing your windows!

Single Pane Windows

If you are a homeowner of one of the older homes in Hintonburg or the Valley, you might have noticed when you bought the house that you are dealing with single pane windows. For years, the standard here in Ottawa was to outfit homes with single pane windows and hope that an older oil or propane heating system could keep out the cold. However, the window world has changed, and as Merivale Windows can attest to, the days of single pane windows are long gone here in the nation's capital. With this in mind, if your home, cottage or any other building you own has single pane windows, it might be a sign that you need replacement windows. A simple swap from single pane to double pane windows can mean thousands of dollars in differences at the end of the year from energy bills, and less strain on both your air conditioning unit and furnace. Plus, replacement windows that are either double paned or triple paned will reduce your carbon footprint and increase the overall value of your home!

Hardware Concerns or Difficulty with Window Operation

When it comes to the popular casement windows or awning windows, the very operation of the window is integral to the design and usability of the window itself. However, as time passes, the mechanical portions of a window can start to break down, which in turn begins to affect the usage of said window. Here at Merivale Windows, we know that sometimes even the very best hardware starts to break down, and as the window starts to become inoperable, it might be a sign that you should begin to think about replacement windows. Window hardware and the mechanical portions of a window can be affected by several factors including a lack of maintenance, rust or even moisture in the air. However, replacement vinyl windows could present an opportunity to spruce up the room and ensure that your windows can be operable again. These window replacements can help ensure that rooms receive proper ventilation, and of course, will help make a room usable once again with new hardware that will last.


Condensation is not a good thing when it comes to windows, and many homes in the Ottawa area are susceptible to condensation during the colder winter months due to the very nature of our freezing temperatures. Although condensation can happen for a variety of reasons, there are some significant concerns when it comes to windows. Typically, if you notice condensation that means that you are dealing with a heat transfer issue between the cold air outside of the home and the warm air inside the house. However, condensation is a naturally occurring phenomenon and does not always mean that your windows are bad. What is a concern is if the condensation turns to frost. The quaint frosted window that we have seen over the generations in Christmas movies is a failure of the window itself, as the window is not successfully keeping out the cold from outside. Frosted windows are a significant concern, especially in a climate like Ottawa and should be considered a broken window. If you have started to notice frost on your windows, consider it a sign to call Merivale Windows for replacement windows.

Outside Noise

With the coming of Spring, the air is alive with the sound of birds chirping and construction trucks starting the process to fill the many potholes that line the streets of Ottawa. However, inside your home, you should not hear any of this! Generally, older windows do not have the noise insulation qualities of newer windows. Window technology has come a long way from even a decade ago, and part of this revolution has been building in noise cancelling technology to frames and the panes themselves. You should not be able to hear the car down the street starting, nor should you be able to hear road noise behind your home. However, naturally some sounds will still come through, but generally, you should be able to enjoy your morning cup of tea without the outside world disrupting you. So, if you hear the outside world, it is a sign that you might need replacement windows.

Decaying Frames

Windows frames have a tough job, they are expected to stay airtight, while potentially facing massive temperature changes, and the worst that mother nature can throw at your home. This is why as time passes, window frames can decay, even the high-quality frames such as PVC. For instance, wood frames that were the industry standard not that long ago have issues with mould, rot and sun damage. Vinyl frames can twist and warp through the seasons that could leave gaps or issues with structural integrity. While PVC will eventually start to warp and discolour over the years that could lead to gaps or other problems. Typically, we have told our customers to keep an eye out for a few key issues that may point towards frame issues. That being, gaps on any part of the frame, mould, either inside or outside, or warping around the frame. If you do notice this, it is best to call the team at Merivale Windows to take a look and provide you with some options moving forward. Naturally, no frame is indestructible, and if you start to notice issues with your frame, it might be a sign that you need to replace your windows!

Visible Damage to the Panes

Windows are tough, and as the season's pass, your windows can start to age rather quickly. From issues of fogging up to water damage, window panes are not indestructible and will eventually need to be replaced due to damage. Here in Ottawa, we have massive temperature swings during the Spring and Fall, and these swings can cause a host of issues with windows. Some of these issues like cracks in the glass or warping of the glass are quite noticeable. While others, such as water damage to the interior frame, or fogging issues can be tougher to spot. The real purpose of a window is to provide your home with ventilation, airflow and light, and if your windows are failing to provide your home with these essential tasks, it might be time to think about replacement windows.

Final Thoughts

Replacing your windows is not a cheap task, but when you consider the costs associated with energy bills due to faulty windows, it is a task that is a necessity. We have provided you with the seven most common signs that you need to replace your windows, those being: drafts, increased energy costs, single pane windows, hardware concerns, consistent condensation, outside noise, decaying frames and visible damage to the panes. If you, or someone you know, has one or more of these signs present in their current home, it is time to call the experts at Merivale Windows. One of our team members can come over to your home for a free inspection and provide you with a no-pressure quote for replacing your windows with custom windows that will fit your style and budget. Call our team today! We are here for you, and from windows to doors, the team at Merivale Windows has you and your home covered!