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5 Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Replace Windows

“I know they’re just going to tell me to replace my old windows.”

No need to replace windows, even if they’re old!
Photo courtesy of goldsaint / www.FreeDigitialPhotos.net

We hear this remark a lot when we tell people about how a home energy audit can show them where their house is losing energy and wasting their money, when in fact, window replacement is usually one of the last things we suggest homeowners do.  Here’s why:

1. There are probably much bigger problems that need your attention first

While it’s true that windows can leak energy and air from your home in some cases, they are usually small potatoes compared to other energy efficiency problems commonly found in homes. Insulation is actually the number one most important feature of your home’s energy efficiency, and almost no home is immune to insulation problems.  They’re just too important and too common.

2.  Windows are expensive

To replace windows in your home is prohibitively expensive, and can run homeowners up thousands of dollars for even the cheapest kind of window replacement.  It takes a long time, it’s a hassle, and nobody likes to do it.

3.  You can fix some of the problems yourself

Even the most expensive, energy efficient window isn’t going to be a perfect.  If you have particularly drafty windows, you can usually improve these faults with a little DIY magic, for a fraction of the cost and time as replacing your windows.  Caulk and weather strip your windows to improve their air seals.  You can also vacuum seal windows with plastic in the winter, which is a good option for rooms that aren’t used often, like basement windows, your college kid’s old bedroom, or the exercise room that you never exercise in.

4.  You can improve the windows you already have

You can also improve the energy efficiency of the glass panes themselves by purchasing one of the many window films on the market, at your local hardware store.  These films can reflect up to 70% of summer light heat, keeping your house cooler.  Furthermore, decorative films can be used to give windows frosted looks for privacy and aesthetic purposes. These kind of films can also block UVA and UVB rays.  All of these films are easily affordable and can be installed yourself.

5.  The return on your investment isn’t going be worth it

In the end, the high cost to replace windows and the small improvements they provide mean it’s going to take many, many years for you to begin to see any financial benefits from replacement.

When choosing an audit company, pay attention to where their interests are.  If they’re a company that primarily sells home upgrades like windows, they might tell you that you need to replace windows when you don’t.  Pick a company like America’s Best Energy Team that specializes in professional, information-based energy audits.  We send a professional building scientist to your home; not a salesman.

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