If you own an older home which is in nicer shape than to warrant a full restoration or remodel but could use a few upgrades, windows are one of the easiest ways to improve both efficiency and cosmetic appeal while adding value. Some of the options available may astound the layman who doesn't work with windows on a daily basis. Modern windows can improve security and provide convenience while replacement techniques allow for installation of an entirely different window style to perform a specific function.
Antique Windows (why to keep, historic value, ways to better seal for improved performance)
In some cases, it's understandable why you may not want to replace your current windows. Most notably is if you live in an historic home and especially if the house has a recognized landmark status. Another situation is if strict homeowner's association rules limit your options when replacing windows and you simply prefer what you have now rather than what you're allowed to do. In such cases you can still replace the glass with a higher efficiency system, or by removing the casings and adding caulk and insulation between the window frame and the structural house framing to eliminate drafts and better seal the window.
Modern Window Details
Technology allows modern windows to simply be built better than ever before. The glass can also be tempered for safety and can incorporate security features to prevent it from being opened from outside by a potential intruder. The window frames themselves are stronger than older style windows by incorporating steel framing which is covered by vinyl which is easy to clean and never needs painting or refinishing.
Upgrades for Better Window Efficiency
Double pane windows don't simply provide an extra layer of glass for insulation but are filled with an inert gas for improved efficiency. The glass itself can incorporate coatings which prevent glare and summer heat of direct sunlight. They're easier to open and close so you're more likely to use the windows as intended when the weather allows which can let in cool fresh air during spring and fall rather than having to run an air conditioner to keep the inside of your home comfortable.
Replacing your windows is likely the last thing on your mind, but you may be surprised at how they can improve your life. It never hurts to schedule a time to meet with a professional home remodeling contractor and discuss your options.