Can New Windows Actually Save You Money?
CAN ENERGY EFFICIENT REPLACEMENT WINDOWS REALLY SAVE ME MONEY?
Many homeowners are asking the question, “How can energy-efficient windows save me money?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Here’s how.
Q: Do replacement windows really pay for themselves or is that just a sales line?
A: It’s true, if you select high-quality, energy-efficient windows. Savings will vary, but expertly engineered and well-built windows lower home energy consumption. With vinyl framed or fiberglass framed windows, maintenance is also virtually eliminated. No need to scrape and paint windows. These energy and maintenance savings will allow you to recoup your window investment over time.
Q: How can energy-efficient replacement windows save me money?
A: Replacement windows with insulated frames and energy-efficient glass packages can dramatically help prevent the transfer of heat and cold into and out of your home all year long. By controlling this natural conduction, you can better manage the comfort level in your home. You can save money and realize a significant return on investment by lowering the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool your home throughout the year.
Q: When should I replace the windows in my home?
A: Just like roofing and siding, windows need to be replaced every 20 years or so. Make it a part of your yearly home maintenance checklist to carefully evaluate your windows. Older windows can lose efficiency, causing heating and cooling bills to rise. When it’s time to replace the windows, look for upgraded window packages that are Energy Star® qualified. These can help lower your monthly energy bills.
Q: How do I evaluate my windows?
A: To determine if your current windows are energy-efficient, here are a few easy do-it-yourself steps:
- Look for condensation between the panes of glass on double- or triple-glazed windows. This could indicate seal failure. If this is the case, you might need to replace the glass or the entire window.
- Check to see if there are any faded areas on your carpets or furniture where the sun’s ultraviolet rays have caused damage. This is an indication that your windows need spectrally selective Low E glass to block the sun’s harmful rays.
- Research to determine if you have the appropriate glass package for where you live. For example, if you live in a cooler northern region you’ll find increased performance in the insulation properties of a window with low U-value. If you are located in a warmer region you’ll benefit from a lower solar heat gain coefficient to help keep the sun’s heat from entering your home. For more information visit Energy Star.
Q: What window frame type is the most energy efficient?
A: Vinyl or fiberglass window frames with multi-chambered construction and fusion-welded corners are one of the most energy-efficient available. Insulated frames are especially effective when combined with a Low E glass package.
Q: What kind of glass should I get in my replacement windows?
A: At a minimum, you’ll want to start with Low E glass in your window. Double-pane and triple-pane windows offer additional layers of insulation. Make sure your multi-pane windows are filled with an inert gas, like Argon or Krypton, between the panes of glass. This gas fill acts as a type of barrier and helps prevent the transfer of heat or cold into your home. Controlling the amount of convection between the panes of glass will help you use less energy to heat or cool your home.
Q: Which is more important in saving energy, the frame or the glass?
A: Seventy percent of an average window is glass; therefore, your biggest opportunity to save on energy comes from the glass. Remember, however, that the frame still makes up 30% of the window. Quite often, a replacement window will feel drafty around the edges. A frame that lacks insulating value generally causes this problem. That’s why every vinyl window we install includes a frame that is foam filled, giving it superior insulating ability.
Q: Why should I consider getting replacement windows?
A: Modern replacement windows are durable and help you lower monthly energy costs, increase the value of your home, reduce maintenance hassles and add beauty to the interior and exterior of your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the typical home loses more than 30% of its heat through windows. The DOE reports that the best replacement windows have moderate to high R-values, a measure of both the construction of the window and the materials used versus heat flow. That translates into reduced heat loss and greater thermal efficiency that can help you save money and reduce energy costs. Another reason to consider replacement windows is that they can be custom made to fit your design and remodeling requirements.