Your Old Windows Could Be Hurting Energy Efficiency During Idaho Winters

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( — January 6, 2018) — Energy efficiency is one of the most important considerations for homeowners who can waste thousands per year on energy costs because their windows, siding, or insulation are old and falling apart. Windows are one of the most important features of an energy efficient home, especially if you live in a cold, dry, drafty place like southern Idaho.

According to research from Energy Star, a home loses up to 30 percent of its heating and cooling energy through leaking windows and doors. You might have noticed that your energy bills are rising thanks to your deteriorating windows. For windows that are 10 years old or older, replacements are often necessary. You’re likely wasting hundreds on drafty windows, and your home’s resale value will suffer because of it.

Signs Your Windows Are Causing Higher Energy Bills

If you’re wondering if your home’s windows are the cause of your high energy bills, consider these are signs that you have a window energy efficiency problem.

Your windows look old and dirty. Appearances are often one of the first signs that your windows are old and need a reboot. Discoloration and fogging between window panes mean the window is no longer functioning properly for sealing in warm or cool air.

Your windows are more than 10 years old. Around the 10-15 year mark, windows will start to lose their tight seal and allow more air to leak out.

You only have single pane windows. Doubling your window panes can cut energy consumption in half. According to an Energy Star report, you can save up to $465 a year by installing double pane windows.

It’s hard to open your windows. When they’re doing their job properly, windows will open and close easily. When it becomes difficult, there’s almost certainly a problem with the seal, and hot or cold air will leak out as a result.

You feel drafts throughout your house. You’ll probably feel drafts most near the windows, but as the panes age, you’ll start to feel cold air in every room. If windows are doing their jobs properly, you won’t feel any outside air.

If you notice one or more of these signs and want to know if your windows need to be replaced, one of the best things to do is to call a contractor to evaluate your case and quote a price for you on new windows.

Benefits of Replacing Your Windows

When you’ve seen the signs and know a replacement is due, it’s often best to focus on the benefits of making the change so that you’re not overwhelmed by the cost. Here are some of the biggest benefits you can enjoy.

Lower Energy Costs: Your pocketbook will take note of this one instantly. Over the course of a year, you can save up to $1,000 in energy costs.

Greater Comfort at Home: Say goodbye to drafty winters because your new windows will seal the air properly, keeping it a comfortable temperature throughout your home.  

Increased Light and View: Windows are designed to give your home more natural light and offer a pleasant view to the outside, a feat best accomplished if your windows are working properly. The fog and discoloration will be gone, and you can enjoy your windows as they were intended to function.

Higher Curb Appeal: New windows simply look better. You, guests, and future potential home buyers will be impressed with the significant update to your home’s interior and exterior, simply because you installed new windows.

Worth the Install

Many homeowners are hesitant to replace their windows because of the cost. A 2,500-square foot home that needs entirely new windows can cost upwards of $15,000, thanks to the cost of the material and installation on each individual piece. Most people don’t have that much cash lying around.

The upfront cost is certainly daunting, but there is a decent return. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, you can recoup as much as 80 percent of your window replacement project in added home value. What’s more, you can save as much as $1,000 a year in energy savings, a significant return for your investment. If you live in the home for five years after replacing your windows, you’ll have recouped the entire value of your window project.

Replacing windows in your Idaho home doesn’t have to be a headache. Keep your eye on the prize and consider the significant energy savings and higher quality of life you’ll experience simply from replacing your old windows.