Energy Efficient Windows: Upfront Savings and Increased Comfort
It is no secret that energy efficient windows and fittings do save money in both the short and longer term utility costs. The problem many people run into is the upfront costs may seem rather unaffordable. Because we seem to be facing an energy crisis, both the federal and state governments (in some cases local as well) offer assistance for projects that help reduce energy costs. Using these tax credits and grants, replacing windows quickly turns from a cost to break even or savings when you consider the money you will save on utility bills almost immediately.
When choosing energy efficient windows, you will want to consider aesthetics as well as energy climate zones. A particular window may not be the right fit for the environment you live in. Generally, hardware stores will have a chart showing the zone that you are in and what type of rating you should be looking for. These ratings change due to general environmental conditions that warrant a different makeup in the materials and construction.
So, now that you know the benefits of having energy efficient windows, should you just tear out your existing windows? It can be an expensive proposition, and in this economy, may not be the most prudent. Sure, in short time you’ll realize the savings they provide, but if you need to hold on to what you have, you should at least check to make sure they are as energy efficient as they can be. Check for moisture, mold, rotting, and any other wear around the frame at the wall. This wear or breakdown may mean there is more damage beneath the frame itself. If this is the case, go ahead and remove the frame and repair any damage you find. This will ensure a better fit and allow you to use your current windows until you can get the more energy efficient.
When it comes down to simple math, with the potential tax credits, utility savings, and long term usage, it just makes sense to replace older windows with energy efficient windows. The tax credits alone may pay for several, and the rest will be realized through the savings on utility bills.