Most people think of curb appeal as roofing, siding, and landscape, but new window installation offers a great opportunity to upgrade your home in style and resale value. Not to mention, with nearly 40 percent of central heating lost through windows and doors, quality window replacement with proper insulation ensures substantial savings on utility bills.
Another reason to replace your windows is that today’s replacement windows also deliver large savings in maintenance costs and convenience, as newer windows don’t require the constant upkeep of scraping, replacing putty and new paint.
New Windows Can Save You Money on Utility Bills
Window salespeople make many claims about energy savings. How true are these claims? Good quality windows, installed properly, can yield substantial energy savings. How much you save depends on the type of window you choose and the type and condition of the windows you are replacing.
In the average home, 38 percent of the heat loss is through windows and doors. If your home has drafty single-pane windows or single-pane aluminum sliders, the heat loss from windows may be as much as 50 percent. The poorer the performance of your old windows, the more dramatic the savings and the sooner energy savings alone will cover the cost of your new window investment.
Buy a double-pane window with a low U-factor when:
- You don’t expect to live in the home long.
- You have less expensive gas or oil heat.
- You expect energy prices to remain stable or drop.
- You expect to have more income in 10-15 years.
Buy a triple-pane window with a very low U-factor when:
- You expect to live in the home for 10 years or more.
- You have more expensive electric heat.
- You expect energy prices to rise sharply.
- You expect to have less income in 10-15 years.
The NFRC ratings don’t address window durability directly. If the windows warp, leak or loosen over time, their U-factor ratings are likely to plummet. Your best resource for choosing a durable, problem-free window is to rely on the advice of a reputable installer. He or she will be interested in your long-term satisfaction and will quickly steer you clear of windows that don’t hold up well.
You can also inspect the window before buying. Look for a good fit between parts. A good test is to slip a business card between any slideable sashes and the frame. The card should slide, but there should be some resistance.
Low U-factor ratings and durable construction are both determined by attention to details. In general, the better rated windows will be better made as well.
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