Windows are an extremely important part of any home — not only do they light in crucial light and can contribute heavily to the ambiance of a space — but they also can help keep your energy bills down and the exterior of your home looking tidy. Replacing your windows can be a good investment — for both your current energy bills and your long-term selling opportunities. There are many window companies offering energy efficient windows that can help you save money on your bills — and perhaps even on your taxes, depending what state you live in. So let’s talk about when you’d want to replace versus repair your windows, what types of residential windows to consider, and what you should look for in window companies that you call for window installation.
When Should I Replace My Windows and Why?
Sometimes it can be more cost effective to look into repairing your windows, but there are a few instances when you should always replace your windows. If you have a double paned window that has a faulty seal, moisture that gets in can fog up your windows in a way that makes them unusable. Similarly, if your frame has warped and isn’t sealing, you may find that drafts in the winter gust in and your air conditioning goes right out, both of which can cost you in terms of energy bills. And, of course, if your windows simply don’t open anymore or you’ve faced significant storm damage, it’s time to really think about getting new windows on your home improvement schedule.
If you invest in high quality windows and keep up with them, they can last 20 or more years, depending on the material, and the National Association of Realtors reports that if you replace your windows, you can expect to get around 80% of your investment back. Drafty windows can up your energy bills by as much as 10-25%, so replacing those windows means a good chunk of money back in your wallet.
What Types of Residential Windows Should I Be Looking At?
If you live in a climate that tends towards the extremes (extreme heat or extreme cold) looking into dual-paned windows is a good idea. They’re almost twice as effective at keeping heating and air conditioning in when compared to single-paned windows. The Efficient Windows Collaborative also recommends that you can save 15% a year on your energy bill if you choose energy-efficient windows that have low-E coatings. The Efficient Windows Collaborative is an alliance of government agencies, research organizations, and manufacturers that promote efficient window technology.
Energy Star certified windows are also a smart choice and a professional energy auditor can help make suggestions about how to make your home more energy efficient, including what windows to look at. Purchasing these types of windows may also net you tax credits around tax season, depending on your state’s initiatives and laws.
What Information Should I Know From Window Companies and Contractors?
You obviously want the best windows for your money and with the average cost to replace a window hovering between $300 and $700 per window being installed, you want to make sure you’re making the right decision. You should get quotes about your home windows from the different window companies and check out their warranties. If there’s no warranty offered, steer clear! Try and shoot for at least a 20 year warranty on the glass and a 10 year warranty on the window construction itself.
When it comes to window installers, you want to make sure the contractors you hire are licensed and carry insurance. It’s worth checking in to their background and seeing how long they’ve been in business and asking for referrals or reviews from previous customers. Reviews will give you an excellent sense about previous customer satisfaction and what you can expect.
If you’re in a situation where you need to replace your windows, don’t delay. Do your research and get moving to make sure that your energy bills don’t spike and that your home remains in good exterior condition.