By Dawn Hawkins, Contributing writer

The windows of your home can save a lot of money on your heating and cooling bills. Windows have changed drastically over the years and it pays to keep up with those changes. If your windows are an older-style window that was created before the 1990s, your home is probably in serious need of upgrade where windows are concerned.

How to decide if the windows in your home need an upgrade:

Age: The age of your windows is a huge determining factor in whether you should replace the windows in your home or not. The age of your windows can mean that they are outdated for the current times. Windows, like everything else in your home, become outdated as newer and better products reach the market. Even if there seems to be nothing wrong with your current windows, you will benefit greatly from considering getting new windows installed in your home.

Cracks: If there are cracks in the current windows in your home, it might be time to consider replacement windows. Cracks can occur in the glass itself or in the frame that holds them. In either case, if the windows have begun to crack, it is time to consider getting replacement windows. Cracks can cause a great deal of heat or cool air to flow out of the home, thus costing you a great deal of money. It is worth replacing poor windows with new ones.

Gaps: If there are gaps in between the window frame and the window itself, you are in desperate need of replacing those windows for windows that seal out the weather and seal in the temperature. Large gaps mean that you are losing far more of your energy to the outdoors than is necessary. It is important that you replace windows in your home in order to get things on track with modern times.

Sliding Ease: If the windows in your current home are difficult to open and shut, it may be time to consider new windows. Older windows can become painted shut with time. They tend to swell and shrink depending on the weather. That can mean that you will have a very difficult time opening and closing your windows. If you want windows that work properly all the time instead of sporadically, replace older windows with new ones.

Style: Older homes will usually have older windows. If you have an older home where the windows have never been updated, you should probably consider the possibilities that you will have to upgrade. Your home will look much nicer with updated windows. Updated windows can add a great deal of style to your home and therefore raise the value of it.