That’s actually a complicated question because there are a lot of factors to consider. Houses built prior to 1978 may have lead in their paint. One of the most popular reasons why people replace their windows is to resolve lead in paint issues. Some people who have older houses like the character of the older wood windows and may decide to have the lead paint removed from the windows. If you live in an historic district that may be your only option. You may also have a lot of windows that are rotted and falling apart. This is another reason why people replace their windows. Some people will replace their old wood windows because they want lower maintenance. You can buy windows that don’t need to be painted and have tilt in features that make it easier to clean them. Some people will replace their windows with new windows that are more energy efficient. The pay back period for getting your money back in energy savings can be quite long. There are contractors out there that can tighten up older wood windows and make them more energy efficient. Here in Rochester, NY we have the Landmark Society. The Landmark Society has a list of contractors that specialize in preserving the character of older homes. Theses contractors are skilled in repairing and improving the energy efficiency of older windows.
It’s my opinion that if your windows are in overall good operating condition and if you don’t have lead in paint issues that it probably is more cost effective to hire someone to give your existing windows a tune-up. Of course a window contractor will have a different opinion because they want to make thousands of dollars by selling you new windows.
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