Purchasing New Windows
If you are thinking of replacing the windows in your home the choices you make about style, materials, and installation could have a big impact on your energy bill. Here are some things to consider:
- What materials are your existing windows made of
- How well your home is insulated
- The size of your home and the number of windows it has
- The shade around your home
- The climate you live in
Price per window can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It depends on the materials and features you choose for your new windows, as well as the installation costs.
Wood-framed windows provide good insulation, but are heavy and high-maintenance. Vinyl-frame windows insulate well and don’t need painting.
Single-hung, double-hung, and sliding windows leak more air than casement, awning, and hopper windows.
Glazing and Glass
Certain window glazes and glass may provide better insulation, light quality, and condensation resistance. For example, windows with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings often are more energy efficient than windows without.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Some materials and features make windows easier to care for. Tilt-in sashes, for example, make cleaning easier.
If your windows aren’t installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you might not get the savings or comfort you expect.
You can improve the energy efficiency of existing windows by doing the following:
- Adding storm windows - Reduce air leakage and some heat transfer
- Caulking and weather stripping - Reduce air leakage around windows
- Using window treatments or coverings - Reduce heat loss and/or gain
However, if your home has very old and/or inefficient windows, it might be more cost effective to replace them than to make these improvements. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs.