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Your Guide to Window Replacement Throughout the Year

Jan 22, 2021

When you consider your home’s most essential elements, you likely imagine the primary structural components, such as the floor, walls, and roof. However, windows are one of your home’s most crucial features. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, high-quality windows make a tremendous impact on your home’s value and serve several important functions. Window replacement is one of the most beneficial home renovations you can perform, providing a significant return on your investment with only a few hours of work.

You probably underestimate the importance of your windows. They not only allow you to appreciate your surroundings while providing safety and security, they also keep your family happy and healthy. Facilitating cross-ventilation provides year-round comfort while improving your home’s energy efficiency and decreasing your utility bills. Windows allow the entry of natural light, which has significant effects in enhancing mood, boosting the immune system, increasing productivity, and maintaining healthy sleep patterns.

If they are correctly installed and properly maintained, windows provide an array of benefits to your family throughout the year. However, whether due to age, wear and tear, or damage, windows eventually require replacement. Maybe your windows are functioning fine, but you want to enhance your home’s curb appeal or ensure your space is as energy-efficient as possible. You can have your windows replaced during any season, but there are important details to consider when choosing the time of year to schedule your window replacement.

Window Replacement During Warm Weather

Spring, summer, and fall tend to be the most common time for window replacement for several reasons. The caulk used to secure and insulate windows will adhere better in warmer temperatures than colder ones, making the project easier and enhancing its quality. However, once temperatures reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the caulk’s effectiveness decreases just like it does in cold weather. Silicone caulk may be used in cold weather, but it requires heat to ensure a smooth, even application. Latex caulk cannot be applied at all after temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some window frame materials, especially vinyl and aluminum, tend to change form based on the weather, further affecting caulk’s ability to hold properly. Because these materials expand during warm temperatures and contract during cold temperatures, applying caulk when the temperature is too cold can result in cracking and splitting when it contracts. If this happens, you may need to have the job redone, taking more time, and costing you more money. Avoid this risk by having your windows replaced in warm weather.

Scheduling your window replacement during “off-season” warm weather provides other advantages, as well. Many people wait until the last minute to replace their windows, usually after the temperatures have dropped and it has become obvious that their home is not holding heat as well as it should. By scheduling your replacement in the warmer months, you beat this rush and benefit from your contractor having a more open schedule. A faster appointment means you spend less time waiting for your installation. Windows also tend to be at their lowest price during the summer, meaning you can save substantially on your installation cost.

Window Replacement During Cold Weather

While warm weather window replacement is the preferable option, a cracked or broken window must be replaced immediately, no matter what the temperature. There are several things to keep in mind when replacing your windows during cold weather. Schedule your appointment on a sunny day during mid-morning hours, which provides the chance for materials to warm and expand. Try to avoid rainy days because some sealants require up to 24 hours after application before they can tolerate water exposure. If there has been rain recently, your contractor must give exterior surfaces enough time to dry before starting the project.

Temperature affects the type of caulk your contractor can use. Silicone-based caulk adheres to surfaces more readily during colder months and is the superior option for weatherization and waterproofing. Compared to latex or acrylic caulk, silicone-based caulk allows your heating system to operate more efficiently, reducing your energy bills. Different kinds of caulk offer different joint movement capability. Caulk with high movement capability, defined as approximately 25% movement, performs better in cold temperatures than caulk with lower movement capability.

Window replacement during cold weather is less energy efficient. Because your frames will be temporarily empty, the intrusion of chilly drafts means you will be forced to blast your heat in an attempt to stay comfortable during cold weather, especially if multiple windows will be replaced. To reduce the cold’s impact, ask your contractor to work on only one window at a time. If the window to be replaced is especially large, you can request the contractor hang floor-to-ceiling plastic to cover the opening.

Signs It Is Time for Window Replacement

  • Your windows feature single-pane glass. This cheap glass is a poor insulator, so it is always a good idea to improve your home with higher quality replacements. Windows with double- or triple-pane glass will reduce your energy usage and can substantially decrease your utility bills. Look for windows that are Energy Star rated, meaning they are manufactured according to strict standards and independently tested to ensure they meet specific performance criteria.
  • Your window is not operational or poses safety problems. Any windows unable to open or shut completely should be replaced, as well as any panes fitting weakly or loosely into their frames due to damage or improper maintenance. Windows on a second floor or higher that do not open should always be replaced with operational windows so they can be used as exits in the event of an emergency.
  • Your window is broken. No matter what time of year or how cold the temperature, it is crucial to schedule professional window replacement immediately for health and safety reasons.

Although you will be wasting some energy and/or sacrificing your comfort by scheduling window replacement during cold temperatures, this process is extremely efficient and well worth the temporary inconvenience. It typically takes only hours to remove old windows and install new ones, so you won’t need to leave your home exposed to the elements for any long period or overnight. Window replacement during any weather is a worthwhile project with a high return on investment.

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