In many older homes, the windows still have the old style sash weights and pulleys and are single pane glass units. Not only are these type windows inefficient against heat loss, most are glazed with glazing putty that has cracked and dried from age and is most likely missing. Take a good look at the your windows and check the sash weight cords to see if they are broken as well. Missing or badly frayed sash ropes can be dangerous as it makes the window difficult to open and close and by using a prop stick to hold the window up in warm weather, you are inviting an accident when someone accidentally knocks out the stick and the window comes crashing down on tiny fingers perhaps or even worse a neck!
If your survey shows the windows to indeed be old style single pane windows it is time to replace them with new thermally efficient and much easier to operate units. Replacement windows come in all shapes and styles today. Most commonly seen are white or brown vinyl types as these are also the cheapest to buy. Many manufacturers will make custom colored units for your project. All brands are not the same however. The cheapest units feature one piece vinyl extrusion frames that will allow the exterior cold to transmit directly through the frame materials and emit cold into to the inside of your home. The inside of the frame is about the same temperature as outside. Brrrrrr. A better quality window will have what is called a “thermal break” located approximately halfway through the frame made of insulating material that will stop the cold at that point. Much better idea. Glass types. Again there are many choices. Insulating glass which consists of two panes of glass with an inert gas in between is far better than single pane windows anytime.
A step up, is when the inside of the glass is coated Sash Window Repairs Kentwith what is called a “low E” coating. This lets the suns heat radiate into the home but won’t let it go back out. It is a few dollars more but with today’s energy costs for heating fuels, it is well worth it. Down side? Most vinyl windows are manufactured only in white or brown colors. Some companies produce custom colored vinyl but again these are more money. A second type of replacement window is made with a vinyl clad exterior and an exposed wooden interior. This provides a maintenance free outside that you do not have to paint and allows painted interior side that you can match the color or perhaps stain, to match the decor of your room. Some companies produce these types in colored exteriors as well and I have seen red, green, blue but remember the windows will be there for a very long time! You cannot change the outside color once they are installed. Lastly, there are all wood replacement windows available but with all the other options, unless you love to paint outside on a ladder they are not the best choice. An exception would be a historic restoration where matching the window style is critical. Even wood windows come today with thermal breaks and low-E glass. Vinyl replacement windows fit right into your existing window openings.