Old Windows: Replace or Restore?

Windows have a lot to do with your energy bills – a window that isn’t properly sealed can let in hot air during the summer and cold air during the winter, making your heater or air conditioner work harder to keep your home at the right temperature.

If you have old windows, they could be costing you extra money and it may be time to update them – but is it better to replace them or restore them?

First of all, choosing between the two depends on what kind of windows you have. If your home has old aluminum, steel, or vinyl windows, you’re going to have to replace them – these types of windows can’t be restored. If you have wooden windows, however, you have a choice:


Restoring a window involves removing it from the wall, assessing its damage, and repairing it. If you’re familiar with fixing windows, you can do the restorations yourself, but if not – trust a professional. You may have to replace frame parts, hardware, and/or the glass, however, you’ll be able to preserve the look of the original window (which may be important if your home has historic appeal or value).

It’s easier than most people think to turn an old window into an energy-efficient window – Weatherstripping can be added to create a better seal and keep out unwanted air, and if your windows don’t shut properly, frame elements can be added to make sure they fit snugly.


Replacing a window involves removing the original window and choosing a new one that complements your home’s style. This is usually a fairly easy thing to do, however, if your windows are unique, you may not find replacement windows of the same kind. It also may involve changing the shape of your home’s window outlines.

Replacing your old windows can prove to be more costly than restoring them. Plus, the density of older wood is actually better than many of the materials windows are made with today, so the money you put into replacing your windows may not be money well spent.

Make the most of your HVAC unit and save money on your energy bills by restoring your old windows. Right now is a great time to do so, since winter is coming and you’ll want to seal out that cold air.

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