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Energy Efficient Windows: Are They Worth The Expense?

by Kuhrich on Thursday, February 6, 2014

“These windows will pay for themselves in a year.” You’ve heard the sales gimmicks, but will the expense of energy efficient windows be worth the expense in the next year, or two, or five? Reviewing a few stats about newer windows can help you make a financially-sound decision when replacing windows or making selections for your new custom home.

Saving on Utility Costs

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household spends 45 percent of its annual utility budget on heating the home. Inefficient windows may be letting 10 to 25 percent of the heat out, which adds to heating costs. Energy efficient windows include features like double-paned glass to keep heat in and usually provide an airtight fit. For year-round savings, choose double-paned windows that come with a coating to block UV rays. You’ll get the benefit of gorgeous natural lighting in the warmer months without the heat that comes with sunbeams.

Increase Home Value

Replacing old windows increases the value of your home. According to a report fromĀ RemodelingĀ magazine, higher or midrange replacement costs are usually recouped at 70 to 75 percent on the dollar. That means for every $100 you spend, you could recoup $75 in value when you sell your home. It seems like you’re taking a loss, but if you live in the home for a few more years, you’ll also be getting the benefit of the new windows, including monthly savings on your utility bill. In the end, you’ll likely see a profit in terms of total value. Even if you are having a custom home built, selecting energy efficient windows can protect your value.

Getting the Most from Energy Efficient Windows

Popping energy efficient windows into an old home or poorly designed new construction isn’t going to provide a miracle. For the best results on utility costs, consider installing quality insulation and sealing any cracks or openings in the home. Even if windows are blocking heat or cool air from escaping, you could be leaking money through doors, poorly insulated crawl spaces, or attics.

+Ken Uhrich is lead Estimator and Purchaser at Custom Home Group, a Design/Build company, located in Lancaster County, PA. You can follow Ken on Twitter: @kuhrich Or visit his company website: www.customhomegroup.com