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When Should I Replace My Windows?

August 24, 2023

If you live in Florida, you must be prepared at all times. With hurricane season lasting half the year, you need to be on high alert. The Hurricane Center alerts residents when it flags an approaching hurricane or severe thunderstorm, giving them a chance to evacuate if necessary.

When preparing for hurricane season, we tend to overlook the importance of having durable windows in the house. According to Florida law, replacement windows must be impact windows to provide additional protection during a storm.

To decide if it’s time to replace your windows, learn what hurricane windows are, how long they last and the benefits of having hurricane windows.

Hurricane Windows

While standard, non-impact windows generally shatter easily, hurricane windows are designed to endure extreme weather conditions, specifically tropical thunderstorms and hurricanes in Florida. They withstand gale-force winds that carry debris and other rubble, causing insurmountable damage to property.

What sets them apart is that they are engineered with the utmost precision, using a polymer fitted between two strong sheets of glass. Though the glass in hurricane windows might still shatter, the polymer will hold the pieces together. Nothing will get through them, even at wind speeds reaching over 200 mph.

The polymer also allows for some flexibility to absorb the high-force impact of flying objects. Hurricane windows must comply with Miami-Dade County codes and tests and ASTM International testing requirements.

Useful Life of Hurricane Windows

Hurricane windows may last up to 20 years or longer. They can last up to 30 years if you maintain them properly and they aren’t exposed to as much extreme weather.

Comparatively, single-pane windows generally have a life span of about 10-15 years. Over time, you will see cracks appear, and the window tracks may rust and stop working. Additionally, single-pane windows do not offer the same protection impact windows do.

Hurricane windows come in many styles and sizes, so you can get the look you want and the protection you need.

Types of Glass

If you are considering replacing your windows, you can choose from a few types of glass. They range in price and features so you can choose the one best suited for your pocket and home.

  • Plexiglass: Regarded as the most affordable option, Plexiglass is made of a flexible plastic pane that may gradually become yellow.
  • Standard glass: This popular, mid-range option suits many homeowners’ needs in terms of pricing and specifications. It is not tinted or treated but can be just as effective.
  • Acrylic glass: Slightly stronger than standard glass, acrylic glass can also cost less and is a common choice. Acrylic glass is yielding and not as heavy as some other glass types.
  • Low-E glass: Morecostly but more energy-efficient, low-E glass minimizes the effects of UV rays and keeps your home insulated against heat and cold, regulating the temperature based on the seasons.
  • Tempered glass: Because of its high durability, tempered glass is often used in areas that are considered high-risk due to the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. Tempered glass is more expensive but offers the ultimate protection when needed.

When to Replace Your Windows

There are a few things to remember that may help you decide when to replace your windows.

They Have Excessive Wear and Tear

Check your windows regularly to see if there is any damage caused by wear and tear over the years. Issues like moisture, water retention and mildew gradually seep in if you don’t pay attention to your windows and the seals and tracks are worn. Consider replacing your windows if you notice irreparable damage that could pose a safety concern for your family.

The Window Tracks Stick

Neglecting to clean your window tracks over the years can cause a buildup of dirt and grime, often causing the windows to get stuck. You may be unable to ventilate an area of your house because of one window. Stuck windows can have a cumulative effect, especially in the summer if you don’t have an air conditioner.

Your Air Conditioning Runs Constantly

One disadvantage of single-pane windows is that they don’t shield your home and family from UV rays, so you will feel the heat when it is warmer outside. Despite cranking up the air conditioner, your home may never reach your desired temperature, and you could receive a massive bill for having the air conditioner on all the time.

The Warranty Has Expired

You use your windows often, and like any other moveable parts, they have a life expectancy that ranges depending on how well you look after them. We recommend evaluating your windows if they are more than 10 years old or even sooner if the warranty is about to expire.

You might think replacing your windows is not a pressing matter, but they are consistently exposed to direct heat and extreme elements. They go through increased strain as time passes. Inspect your windows regularly for signs indicating it is time to replace them.

Benefits of Replacing Your Windows

In addition to offering security when facing ferocious hurricanes and storms, replacing your single-pane windows with impact or hurricane windows provides several other benefits:

Improved Noise Abatement

The material used to create hurricane windows reduces outside sound interference, so you can enjoy your home without any external distractions. This helps if you work from home or the kids need quiet time to study and is certainly a huge benefit for families overall.

Increased Safety

Your family’s safety is a top priority when you choose a house. If an intruder targets your home, you can be assured that it will be difficult for them to break in through your windows. The glass is hard and secured in place so tightly that any attempt to break it will be seen and heard, and they will most likely leave before they get caught.

Improved Solar and Energy Efficiency

The layers of hurricane window glass protect your home against the sun and its harmful UV rays while regulating the temperatures inside so you can enjoy cooler air in the summer and warmer air in the winter. This saves you from overusing your air conditioning or heating system and running up the bill when used excessively.

Reduced Insurance Costs

Insurance companies are more willing to reduce your home insurance costs when you install hurricane windows. Call them for a quote. It might surprise you how much you could save.

Increased Home Value

Any upgrade to your home’s existing structure will likely increase its value. Since hurricane windows safeguard against potential hurricanes and intruders, you may find your home’s value has gone up if you ever decide to sell your house. The buyer will automatically save on the cost of installing hurricane windows, making it a win-win situation for both parties.

Why You Should Choose Wright’s Impact Window and Door

If you’re looking for a Florida window replacement company, look no further. We protect your home the Wright way. Our service is impeccable, and we go above and beyond to ensure your windows fit perfectly so you are left with a clean, secure area once the job is done.

Our prices are competitive and financing is available. Request a free estimate so we can determine what you need, whether it’s casement or single-hung windows. You won’t regret choosing us.

Jason Southard
Jason Southard
VP Sales & Marketing at Wrights Impact Window & Door LLC | Website

Jason joined Wrights in 2018, and leverages decades of experience as a business leader in both B2C and B2B markets, with a wealth of experience in marketing, management, and technology. Before joining Wrights, Jason had significant Client, Consulting, and Agency experience from blue chips to start-ups – working across national and global roles. Originally from the UK, Jason has executive education from the London School of Economics and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

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