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Replacement windows can give your house an updated look. Today’s windows are so energy efficient, even rooms with large expanses of glass retain heat in winter.

How to determine if it's time to replace your windows.

With winter imminent, there's a chill in the air – and if that chill extends inside your home, it may be time to replace your leaky, old windows.

If your home is more than 15 years old, you should check that your windows are still operating correctly by being mindful of obvious and invisible signs.

"Definitely, the fall is very busy for us," says Tim Smith, general manager of Casa Bella Windows. "It starts getting colder and people start thinking that they better get new windows. Old sliding windows wear out from the friction of opening and closing, and wood windows expand and contract over time."

The latest vinyl windows are maintenance-free and won't peel, crack, chip or rot. They are highly energy-efficient too, with low-emissivity insulating glass that will keep the heat in. Capstock, or co-extruded windows, are available in white and three other shades, or vinyl can be painted any colour with a paint technology that will last 10 years without retouching.

Do you need new windows?
» You have single-pane glass windows: Found on many older homes, these are poor at keeping heat or cool air inside and contribute to condensation.

» Your home is noisier than it should be: If passing cars and overhead planes sound unduly loud, then dual-pane or laminated glass windows can reduce the racket.

» Your furniture, carpets and curtains are fading: This is a sure sign that your windows need replacing. New double- or triple-paned windows will reduce fading and come with a built-in tint.

» Outdated design: If your home looks out of style with others in the neighbourhood, new windows can provide a modern look.

» Windows don’t operate properly: If you can’t easily lock or open your windows, it could be due to a failing mechanism or debris buildup. You should be able to open windows easily in case of an emergency.

» Difficult to clean: If you’re dragging a ladder and cleaning from the outside, there’s a better way. Windows with a tilting option make it easy to clean the interior and exterior sides without going outdoors.

This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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