From Brittany on May 7th, 2011 in Window Replacement
If you’re like most homeowners in the U.S., you’ve noticed your energy bills keep increasing while the efficiency of your home steadily decreases. This may not spell disaster for your property yet, but over the years that energy loss takes a toll — 20% to 30% of your utility bills, no less. So how can you stop throwing money out the window?
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The answer’s simple: replace those energy-draining windows this year. A licensed replacement window contractor can determine if an upgrade is needed for your home’s windows and doors, namely by looking at:
- Your energy bills. Bills over $200 for an average-sized single-family home, for instance, likely indicate energy loss.
- Your existing window quality. Single-pane windows have been outdated for some time.
- Heat loss in the window frames, glass and rest of the home. An energy audit helps this as well.
To find out how much replacement windows cost in your area, click here.
Indeed, the costs may be well worth it.
Average Savings on Replacement Windows
So how much can you save? The savings in energy costs will be different for every home, but the national average for replacing single-pane, clear-glass windows with Energy Star replacement windows runs from $126.00 to $465.00 per year.
The average savings for replacing clear double-pane windows with Energy Star coated replacement windows ranges from $27.00 to $111.00 per year. Other factors matter, too. Your heating and air conditioning systems, siding and type of roofing all impact the loss of energy.
Here’s an easy way to think about it. If you have old drafty windows, you will reduce your energy costs by replacing them with well-fitted, more efficient ones. The better the windows, the more you’ll save. Because approximately 30% of your home’s energy is lost through old windows, you should be able to save 30% on your energy costs. Therefore, you can apply that to the price tag of your new windows, since they’ll continue to save you money for years to come. Five years is five times the savings of the first year.
Types of Windows and Energy-Efficient Features
When you go window shopping, you’ll see that there are many types of replacement windows available with a range of features. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the most energy-efficient windows you can afford. They will save you the most on energy costs and last the longest. The labor to install windows is the same for all kinds of windows, cheap or expensive.
Here are some basic features of energy-efficient windows:
- The best replacement windows are rated Energy Star.
- They should be double-pane or triple-pane windows.
- Double- and triple-pane windows can have argon or krypton gas between the layers for insulation.
- Your window frames should be made of vinyl, fiberglass, wood or metal.
- Each kind of window will have spacers and sealers to provide stability and insulation.
- All windows can come with clear glass, or glass coated with tint or low E coating.
- The very best replacement windows have intercept spacers, or a U-channel frame that reduces energy loss.
- Intercept spacers also keep the window seal in place to avoid gas loss and keep the edges of the glass warmer.
You Also Save on Federal Rebates
You can also save with green remodeling tax credits. For installation of qualifying efficient windows in 2011, you can get $500 back, or %10 on the first $5,000 you spend. For windows installed in 2010, you can receive up to $1,500, or %30 on the first $5,000 spent. Rebates on the state level may also apply; check your state’s energy department incentives for more information.
Photos via Flickr