Replacement Windows – Best Energy Saving ROI
Written by Todd Fratzel.
Replacement Windows Are A Great Return On Investment
It’s not a mystery that replacement windows can help make your home more energy efficient resulting in significant energy savings each year. However, what some of you might find interesting is the fact that replacement windows are considered one of the best return on investment when it comes to energy retrofits.
According to a recent study windows with a higher R value (inverse of the U value) are a better ROI than increasing insulation throughout the home or installing a solar system. Obviously there are some caveats to this blanket statement but it points out a consideration that many people have forgotten with all the talk about better performing insulation and cheaper solar systems.
Installing Replacement Windows
If you’re interested in installing replacement windows in your home it’s important to learn about all the options and what will help you get the best ROI. By far the most important factor in increasing your ROI is purchasing replacement windows with a very low U factor (high R value).
Today that means stepping up to triple pane glass with Low-E coatings and Argon gas filling between panes. The slight difference in cost between double pane and triple pane (15% to 20% typically) is quickly offset by the energy savings. An average double pane window has a U factor of 0.34 (R = 3) while a triple pane window typically has a U factor of 0.25 to 0.20 (R = 5). As you can see the cost of 20% can be quickly offset with a U factor almost 3 times better.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want to install wood, vinyl or fiberglass replacement windows. Each has their pros and cons but the overwhelming biggest choice today are vinyl replacement windows.
Lastly the best quality replacement windows won’t do much good if they are installed poorly. Replacement windows are notorious for drafts when installers rush the installation. Regardless of who installs them be sure that the windows are sealed properly and all gaps around the frames are insulated and sealed.
Install Replacement Windows Yourself and Save Even More Money
If you consider yourself pretty handy with some decent DIY skills then installing replacement windows is certainly within your reach. We’ve written articles about measuring and installing replacement windows in the following links.
- How To Measure Replacement Windows
- How To Install Replacement Windows
- How To Select Replacement Windows
Hiring A Replacement Window Contractor
If you decide to hire a contractor to replace your windows keep a few tips in mind.
- Be sure to get a written estimate along with a written warranty. The estimate should include the brand name of the windows including all relevant window specifications including U value, screen type, interior and exterior trim options and window hardware.
- Be sure to ask for three references from local customers including an address and phone number.
- If your home was built prior to 1978 be sure to ask if your contractor has the proper Lead Paint Certification which is now required by law.
Final Thoughts On Replacement Windows
Replacement windows are a great investment for your home. The return on investment (ROI) comes in a couple forms. First of all you’ll immediately save money on your heating and cooling bills. Secondly replacement windows will undoubtedly make your home worth more money and much easier to sell. So take advantage of the great Federal Energy Tax Credits and invest in your home with new replacement windows.
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