You know that saving energy is important, but do energy efficient windows make a difference? The answer is a bit more complex than a simple "yes" or "no."
Here's a quick anecdote: the Department of Energy has estimated that you could save between $125 and $465 dollars each year by simply replacing old single pane windows with Energy-Star rated windows.
But is it worth it, considering the cost of window replacement? How much energy do they save? Do energy efficient windows make a difference, or should you wait? Let's take a look.
Do Energy Efficient Windows Make a Difference?
1. Energy Efficient Windows Depend on Proper Installation
New windows could help you save money on electricity. However, they won't do much if they're improperly installed and sealed. Even ENERGY STAR certified windows only perform well when they’re fully caulked and tightly installed.
So, you know your windows need well-sealed joints. But what about other areas? For example, worn or poorly sealed pipe/duct openings are a trouble spot for energy waste. Also take a close look at the seals around your dryer vent, chimneys, and other places the outside could come in. A multitude of small leaks could cost you hundreds of dollars by the end of the year.
2. Insulation Matters
Just like poor installation, inferior insulation will reduce the benefit you might get from new windows. Even the best windows won't overcome insulation issues. One key spot is intra-joist insulation in an unfinished attic. Put insulation between them, and you'll see an immediate reduction in your energy usage. That'll help those new windows to make the difference they ought to.
Just any old insulation won't do, though. Even if you've already got insulation between your attic joists, it could be below R-value standards if it's been there for a decade or more. On top of that, because insulation decays and loses its loft over time, it becomes less effective.
3. Replacing Single Pane Windows is Probably Worth It
This means just what it says. If you replace old, warped single-pane windows, you'll see an immediate reduction in your utility bill.
But if you already have double-pane windows, the energy benefit may not outweigh the cost of the windows. According to the Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR-rated windows will take $27 to $111 off your utility bill vs. the previous double-pane windows.
One thing to consider: your property value will probably see a bump with the new windows. How much that is depends on the market. But replacing old windows with new ones is bound to make your home more attractive, and it's a smart idea if you're going to list your home.
4. Replace Failing Double Pane Windows
This should go without saying. Double-pane windows with condensation between the panes are much less effective than they should be. It's probably worth it to replace them, and your utility bill will likely show it.
5. Some Homes Benefit More Than Others
Is your home well insulated in general with older windows? You're probably in line for more potential benefit with new, energy-efficient windows. Do you already have double pane windows? You may want to insulate the attic first. Are you selling your home soon? Do you need better noise reduction? Have you upgraded everything else? Do you prize energy efficiency beyond a simple dollar value?
You get the point. Every home, and every homeowner, is different. So, do energy efficient windows make a difference?
Are you ready to get new energy-efficient windows? Make sure you hire a contractor who installs them the right way, with quality reviews to back up their reputation. Call 423-316-4479 today for quality energy-efficient replacement windows from Armor Xteriors.