Depending on where you live, your drafty windows, skylights and doors, could account for 25-40 percent of your energy bill. Given that statistic, it’s almost a given that people would enjoy cutting energy costs and save $500 a year on their energy bill if all they had to do was change their windows.
If you’re like most people, you live life on budget, and simply can’t just shell out $15,000 for windows on the drop of a hat. And while you can sometimes get tax breaks or low-interest loans to help you ease the burden, it can still be a long time until you see a payoff if you continue to live in the home. As a matter of fact, it could take anywhere from two to ten years before you make up the money you spent installing energy efficient windows—energy savings wise.
Although replacing windows won’t initially save you money, it does save you money on your energy bill in the long term. If you’re looking for immediate fixes, there are other approaches that can be more effective and cost you less to implement.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends starting with window insulation, which can be as simple using plastic or caulk to cover drafty crevices. As opposed to the $9,000 you may need to get your windows replaced, a small investment of about $1,000 can seal door leaks, replace insulation, and repair windows, giving you nearly the same energy savings each year.
It’s undeniable that a new double or tripled-paned window will outperform a single-pane. The real question remains on whether or not the money you’ll invest initially makes it worth it in the long run. Especially when money that you would typically spend on energy efficient windows can be better spent on sealing air leaks or increasing insulation levels.
Money aside, if you plan on being in your house for years to come, or just want to add more value you before you put it on the market, energy-efficient windows are a strong investment. They can save you money each and every month—in some cases helping your house gain net energy—while also providing instant curb appeal and resale value.
Remember, a lot of our heating and cooling loss is dependent on geographical location. If you’re set on adding energy-efficient windows to your home, it’s important to talk to different contractors to determine what is available in your area, and which windows would be the best cost value for your home.