Want a more comfortable home this winter? One of the best options may be to replace the windows in your home. Energy-efficient windows can not only save you money, but they can also make your home more comfortable inside all winter long.
Windows can be a big investment, though, so be sure you’ve got one of these excellent reasons to replace your windows before the winter:
- They’re cracked or leaking
Leaking, cracked windows are like a leaking roof. They’re only going to cost you more money the longer you let them go. If you can see water seeping around your windows, beware. That water could be leaking down into the insides of your walls, causing major mold and water damage issues. You can sometimes stop the problem with a tube of caulk, but these are signs your windows will need replaced sooner rather than later.
- You want to go green
Energy efficient windows can keep you using less energy in your home, making you greener all around. Well-fitted, low-e windows will reduce drafts, meaning you run the heater less all winter. You can also increase your home’s access to natural heat – even in the coldest months – by putting energy-efficient windows on the south or west side of your home. Open the blinds on this side of the house during the day, and let the sun’s natural heat warm up your home.
- You’d like to cut your energy bill
Of course, if you go green, you’ll also be saving on your home energy costs. Energy-efficient windows, according to EnergyStar.gov, can save between $126 and $465 per year when replacing single-pane windows. Even if you’re replacing old double-pane windows, you could save $27 to $111 per year, per window. Check out this regional map to get a read on window-related energy savings for your area.
- You’re looking to update the look of your home
Besides these other benefits, new windows can completely update the look and feel of your home. In fact, replacing windows is one of the few projects that works to upgrade your home’s look both inside and out. According to the annual “Cost vs. Value” report by Remodeling magazine, windows are a pretty cost-efficient upgrade. Expect to recoup 72.9% of the cost of vinyl windows, and up to 78.8% of the cost of wood windows in resale value. Remember, that’s before you factor in any annual savings from reduced energy costs!
Some Other Options
Don’t have the budget to upgrade all the windows in your home before this winter? Here are a few other options to consider:
- Upgrade your front door
If you want to make a statement but spend less money, consider replacing your front door. Upgrade a plain steel or fiberglass door with a wooden one. Or add sidelights to your current front door. This can give you big bang for your buck, changing your home’s curb appeal and energy efficiency with less labor and materials.
- Replace only some of your windows
It’s important to maintain symmetry when it comes to things like replacing windows. But you may be able to pull off replacing just the windows on the front of your home, for instance. This gets even easier if you’re changing the energy-efficiency, rather than the look, of your windows. Replacing a few at a time gives you some of the benefits, without the huge up-front spend.
- Add storm windows
Storm windows can be an affordable way to upgrade your current windows. Energy.gov estimates that good storm windows can save nearly as much as completely new energy-efficient windows. And they’ll also add to the value of your home.
- Put in a skylight
Installed properly, skylights can add value and energy-efficiency to your home. By adding natural light to a room, they reduce the amount of energy you need to light the room. Well-placed skylights can also add natural heat to an area, reducing your overall heating budget.