If you’re a homeowner, it’s good to ask, “Are my windows energy efficient?” If the answer is no, it’s time for an upgrade! Homes lose tremendous heat and cold through their windows, spiking utility costs, and creating a very uncomfortable interior environment.
New windows offer many benefits beyond energy-efficiency, including a better view to the outside, improved curb appeal, and increased proper values. Before you go another year with old, worn-out windows, check out some reasons why you might upgrade to new windows and a few suggestions for choosing the best style for your space.
The best way to determine if your windows are energy efficient is to schedule an energy audit for your home; check with your local utility company, as some perform this audit for free! An energy audit reviews your home’s insulating factors, noting how much heat or cold passes through windows, walls, doors, and other spaces. If the energy audit notes that your windows do a poor job of keeping out heat and cold, it’s time for a replacement!
You can note a few added factors that will indicate if the windows are energy efficient or if they need an update. First consider the frame; vinyl and fiberglass are excellent insulators, followed by aluminum. Wood, however, does a poor job of insulating a home and allows for maximum heat and cold transfer; even if you love wood’s appearance, updating to another material means added energy efficiency for your home.
Hardware and home improvement stores often sell infrared thermometers that measure ambient or room temperatures. Use this to check temperatures in the middle of a window pane and then the temperature of its frame and surrounding walls. If the temperature in the middle of the pane is several degrees higher or lower, the window glass is thin or otherwise poorly insulated and needs replacing!
To check for air leaks, choose a windy day and shut all windows and doors in the house, switch off all fans and the HVAC system, and then slowly move a lit incense stick around the window frames. Drafts coming through gaps around those frames will blow that incense smoke around; if the smoke moves unsteadily back and forth or seems as if it’s getting sucked out of the house, this signals an air leak!
Temporary measures such as plastic sheeting over windows in wintertime and weather-stripping around their edges can reduce cold drafts and stuffy summertime air, but upgrading to new energy-efficient windows is a better option! With upgraded windows, you won’t need to worry about putting up and then tearing down unsightly plastic, or replacing worn weather-stripping every season.
Before you invest in energy efficient windows, you might wonder if new windows really save energy and, in turn, utility costs. While your savings will vary according to your home’s size and energy rates, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that homeowners might save $126 to $465 per year after replacing single-pane windows. Since double-pane windows are already energy-efficient, your savings will be lower if you were to replace double-glazed windows, although thicker glass and upgraded window frames will add to those savings.
While these savings might not seem overwhelming, remember that they do add up over the years! There are also a few other reasons to consider updated windows for your home and which make them an excellent investment:
Homeowners will typically see a healthy return on their investment when they choose updated, energy-efficient windows. Many appraisers and real estate agents estimate that you might see a 70% to 75% average return on your window replacement costs; for every $10,000 spent for new windows, expect an average of $7000 to $7500 increase in your home’s overall value.
If you’re concerned about your potential return on an investment, and especially if you’re considering putting your home on the real estate market, speak to a real estate agent or property appraiser near you. He or she can note the best choice for your home, what homebuyers prefer when it comes to new windows, and your expected return on investment.
Increased energy efficiency is not the only reason to consider updating your home’s windows! Consider some hidden benefits of new windows for your home and be sure to discuss your options with a window installer near you:
An energy audit can tell you if your home’s windows are letting in heat and cold, as said. There are also a few other indicators that it’s time for new windows; if you’re tired of their look, want more light and air in the home, or if those windows stick and are difficult to operate, it’s time for window replacement! Every homeowner should feel comfortable with every detail of their house, including the appearance and operation of the home’s windows.
Check out a few other indicators that it’s time to schedule an appointment with a window replacement contractor near you:
Your home’s new windows should be a balance of energy-efficiency and style! Note some added details of various window options and then discuss your choices with a window installer near you, so you’re happy with your new windows for years to come.
Energy-efficient windows are designed to keep out heat and cold as well as damaging UV rays. There are also types of energy-efficient windows to peruse when making the choice for efficiency. When shopping for energy-efficient windows, note the following features from which to choose:
Single-hung windows have two separate panes; the lower pane lifts and lowers for opening and closing. While this style is functional and affordable, a different window style can offer more light and increased fresh air circulation, as well as easier operation. Note a few various window styles and where they might be the best choice in your home:
When choosing window styles, opt for energy-efficient features that offer the most insulation; for example, if you prefer oversized casement windows, ensure you invest in low-E coatings, to block heat from all that added sunlight! Basement awning windows should always be double-glazed or triple-glazed, to block moisture and cold that tend to collect around a home’s foundation.
Aurora Window Replacement Co. is proud to offer this information to our readers and we hope you find it useful! If you still have questions about whether or not your windows are energy efficient, or need window replacement in Aurora, Colorado, give us a call. We carry all the latest energy-efficient window styles and are happy to help you choose the right style for your home.