There are many reasons why you might want or need to replace your home’s windows, but if you are considering it because of energy savings, then you probably want to know if the savings are really significant enough to pay for the windows themselves. The short answer is yes, but not right away. Replacing your home’s windows will definitely reduce your heating and cooling costs, but you’ll gain many other benefits as well. Besides boosting your home’s beauty, replacement windows offer increased comfort and quiet, more natural light and easier cleaning.
Get Better Energy Efficiency
Many older homes have original windows built with single-pane glass. These old windows often freeze open or shut, and they feel cold or icy to the touch. With heating and cooling costs on the rise, replacing aging, drafty windows with efficient, tight-fitting ones can have a big impact on your energy bills. Newer energy-efficient windows offer standard insulating features such as heat-reflecting low-E coatings and argon gas between panes and can save homeowners anywhere from 10-25% each year on heating and cooling costs. Energy loss attributed to windows accounts for nearly 25 percent of the annual heating and cooling costs for the average American home, according to the Department of Energy. In 2009, Energy Star estimated that typical homeowners save at least $27 a year on their energy costs just by replacing windows. If you have single-pane windows, replacing them with Energy Star-qualified products will save you between $126 and $465 a year, depending on the number of windows you replace and where in the United States you live. But energy savings aren’t the only financial gain you realize after replacing your windows. Your home’s value will increase as well. According to Remodeling magazine, homeowners can recoup between 65 and 75 percent of the cost of their new windows when they sell their home.
Protect Your Belongings
New windows also help you protect and extend the life of your belongings, thus saving you the cost of replacing carpets, furniture, window treatments and artwork. Ultraviolet rays entering through windows and patio doors can lead to fading, and these and other materials, especially ones with organic fabrics, are susceptible to fading when exposed to sunlight. Most replacement windows are available with glass that blocks up to 95% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can cause fading.
Clean Windows More Easily
Old double-hung windows had to be cleaned from the outside, forcing many homeowners to hire window cleaners, especially for the hazardous job of cleaning windows on upper floors. New double-hung windows feature tilt-in sash designs, which means the exterior glass can be easily cleaned from inside by tilting the sash inward, thus eliminating the need to pay for window cleaning.
Put an End to Costly Maintenance
Painting your windows every few years can be costly and time-consuming. You can eliminate the job of painting your window frames by replacing them with aluminum-clad or vinyl-clad windows. Most replacement windows offer exterior trim that never needs to be painted.
Find a Reputable and Reliable Installer
Even the best windows won’t deliver the look, comfort, or savings you expect if they’re installed poorly. It’s important to find a certified installer with experience, references and a history of doing business in your local area. It will take a while to realize enough savings in energy alone to pay for the cost of replacing your home’s windows. However, if you also take into account the added value to your home, the easy cleaning, the elimination of costly maintenance and the protection of your belongings, the savings you gain will offset the initial cost over time. In the meantime, you can enjoy a more beautiful home, with more comfort, less noise and more natural light.