Replacing your windows might be one of the key steps to keeping your home warm in the winter, especially if your home has old windows. Outdated windows are among the main ways that homes lose heat in cold weather. Consider the fact that single-pane windows cannot provide adequate insulation, which means that areas around these windows are often the coldest parts of a house in the winter. When the window framing is poorly insulated, it may feel as though the window is open even if it is tightly closed. If you find that your furnace is running all day long and that your winter bills are high, old windows might be the reason. Replacing them may cut your energy bills so that they will pay for themselves or at least come close to it.
Keep in mind that new windows aren’t necessarily perfect either. Many home builders cut corners by installing the cheapest available windows, which also tend to have the lowest quality. Your new windows may be costing you money if you find them drafty or cold to the touch. Also, a tendency to fog up might be an indicator of inefficiency.
What is Involved in a Window Replacement?
A window replacement involves taking out the sashes that are presently installed and putting in newer ones that have been designed for energy efficiency. In most cases, you can add insulation around the window frame as well.
How Energy Efficient Replacement Windows Work
Modern energy-efficient windows have various features to limit heat transfer. The features include:
Low-E glass reflects the UV rays that transfer heat into your home and it also controls infrared light. It can do this because the window glass has a coating of metallic oxides on the surface. The main benefit of this glass is that it keeps the house from losing heat in the winter and from gaining it in the summer. Keep in mind that windows with low-E glass must be installed properly for you to get their benefits. No matter how effective the window is, it won’t make a difference in your heating and cooling costs if it is incorrectly installed.
There is an inert gas (usually argon or krypton) between the panes of double-pane replacement windows.
Vinyl does not transfer nearly as much heat as aluminum, which is the material used to make many older windows. Heat transfer means that heat travels from one side of the window to the other. In the summer, the heat is transferred into your home and in winter it is transferred outside. Like vinyl, wood doesn’t transfer much heat but it requires regular maintenance and is susceptible to mildew and termite infestations.
Lower Energy Bills and Other Benefits of Replacing Home Windows
There are several ways to make your home more energy-efficient and to lower the cost of heating and cooling it. Installing new windows will be one of the simplest and most effective options. Installing windows designed to prevent heat transfer can lower your utility bills without you sacrificing comfort.
The US Department of Energy states that windows account for almost a quarter of a home’s heating and cooling costs. Even so, window technology has improved a lot in recent years. If your home was built more than 30 years ago and still has its original windows, newer windows may help to save you money. Research from Energy Star has shown that homeowners who switch from single- to double-pane windows can cut their heating and cooling costs by about 20 percent.
Along with saving you money, energy-efficient windows can make your home quieter since they are good at blocking out exterior noise. Homeowners who have installed replacement insulated glass windows have found that they can dampen noise by up to 75 percent.
Other benefits from low-E glass include the fact that it can limit sun damage to furniture, flooring and other surfaces in the home.
Replacement windows add value to a home as buyers are willing to pay more for a home with newer windows that will save them money in the long run. Experts say that you can expect to recoup about 70 percent of an energy-efficient window’s cost.
The government’s new labeling rules make it much easier to determine how well a window will perform. Look for an Energy Star rating before choosing a window. An Energy Star rating indicates that a window meets energy code requirements or exceeds them.
If you are interested in switching out your windows for newer ones that will improve your home’s energy efficiency, use our contact form to get in touch with us today.