Window Replacement Benefits | Replacement Window Advantages
Windows are often the last thing homeowners think about when it comes to home improvement, especially in the face of more exciting and fun projects like redoing a kitchen, bathroom or putting in hardwood flooring. Outdated themes or 1970s colors are practically begging for a fresh look, and windows. Replacement windows have many benefits. While some advantages might not be obvious to the naked eye, they are clearly felt in the pocketbook.
Home replacement windows can add significant value to your house just by improving your energy efficiency. After all, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that as much as one third of the average home's heat loss occurs through windows and doors!
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Replacing Your Windows Can Lower Costs and Save Money
When was your home built? Does it still have the original windows? As with any part of your home, windows will also age. The changes may be obvious, once you really start looking. They may appear outdated or worn. Wood windows may rot, warp, or become termite infested. Vinyl can peel. Cranks in casement windows may no longer work. The ways in which windows can fail over time are numerous, but the most significant failures may be invisible.
Today's window technology is simply more advanced than ever. With the recent focus on the environment and prevention, conservation, and sustainability, window manufacturers have made energy efficiency a priority and have developed creative innovations that make it a reality.
Regular maintenance can help you better assess the state of your windows. If you notice any deterioration, you can take quick steps to remedy the situation. You might want to contact a professional to inspect your windows and make suggestions about repair or replacement.
Single-pane windows are the biggest reason to update your windows. Single glazings are enormously inefficient; a vampire draining your home of energy. If you upgrade to double-pane windows, you can expect less chilly winter drafts, condensation, and heat loss during the winter months. When it's warmer, you'll notice that your home is much cooler.
Many recent improvements in windows include coatings that can help reduce heat transfer and protect your interiors from the sun's light. Carpets and furniture will be less likely to fade, and you can protect your artwork as well.
As windows aren't the most glamorous home improvement project, the argument for energy savings is usually the most convincing reason for homeowners to replace their windows. After all, who doesn't want to save money? Replacement windows are somewhat unique among home improvement projects in that the project can save you money monthly by reducing your energy consumption and lowering those heating and cooling bills.
Making your home more energy efficient also boosts your home's resale value, so the likelihood that you will recoup your costs is very high. In fact, Remodeling magazine's 2007 "Cost vs. Value Report" stated that upscale vinyl and midrange wood window replacements resulted in national recovery rates of 81% and 81.2%. Replacement windows are a truly solid investment.
Always ask about the warranty on your replacement windows. A transferable warranty (one that can be trasferred to a new owner) is ideal. Find out more on replacement window warranty information.
Follow the Star For Your Window Replacement
Government-approved Energy Star labels can make a significant impact on your energy savings. According the US government (www.energystar.gov), Energy Star windows, doors, and skylights are "independently certified to perform at levels that meet or exceed strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy."
The government states that Energy Star windows are even more efficient than new double-paned, clear glass windows. Energy Star windows are nearly twice as efficient as windows that were made just ten years ago!
Energy Star windows are designed to save you energy and money, protect your interiors, and increase the comfort of your home. They do this by protecting from winter cold and summer sun, reducing condensation and heat transfer, and preventing fading from sun damage. Using Energy Star windows reduces your carbon footprint as well, as it means you are taxing power plants less, and thus causing less air pollution.
Choosing Energy Star windows won't limit your style options, either. Energy-efficient windows come in all types, such as double-hung and casement, awning and hopper, sliding patio doors, skylights, and many more.
Window Replacement Energy Star Savings
The government estimates that a typical home that uses Energy Star windows to replace its old single-pane windows can save $126-$465 per year. Replacing double-pane, clear glass windows can yield savings of $27-$111 per year. Certainly nothing to sneeze at!
Of course, the savings depends on your area's climate, weather extremes, and resulting energy demands. The government has a graphic that depicts approximate annual savings by region at http://www.energystar.gov/ia/products/windows_doors/images/Windows_AnnualSavings3.jpg. By their calculations, a typical home in Florida would save $186 annually by upgrading from single-pane windows. A home in New England would save roughly $465. Similarly, an average Florida home would save $111 annually by upgrading to Energy Star from double-paned, clear glass windows and a New England home would save $91.
Clearly, replacing single-pane windows would be a dramatic cost-saver. There's simply no excuse not to upgrade your single-pane windows!
Elegant, Sophisticated, and Contemporary
With all this talk of cost and energy savings, it's easy to overlook the aesthetic advantages of new windows. You would probably be surprised at how new windows can make your home's exterior sparkle and shine. New windows will make your home look brighter inside and out, giving it a cleaner, polished look especially if your old windows are chipped, peeling, or blistering.
Today's windows come in a staggering array of colors to coordinate with your home's color palette. Choosing different interior and exterior frame colors can help create depth and complexity, reinforce your personal style, and make an intriguing visual statement.
You can also be creative with your window choices, introducing new and different window sizes and types. You don't have to do a standard A-for-A swap. Consider adding a bay window with a window seat. Replace a picture window with a picture window and an awning window on top for ventilation. Any number of configurations is possible!
Windows can create interesting focal points, let natural light provide most of the illumination, and establish a welcoming environment for you and your family to enjoy.