Waste the heat and cold air produced by the HVAC system in the home – and waste hard-earned dollars! The windows in homes built in the ’70s and ’80s are not energy-efficient. Builders in that era typically installed storm windows to improve the efficiency of single-pane wooden sash windows. Precious warm and cold air still easily escaped from this second layer of windows.

New Windows Technology

In the last two or three decades, technology in the manufacturing of windows has taken a giant leap to bring thermal double-paned vinyl clad windows into new home construction and retrofit replacements for older homes. Energy-efficient replacement windows increase the saleability and the resale value of a residential home. If a homeowner purchases an energy-efficient product or renewable energy system by December 31, 2010, they may be eligible for a tax credit. Windows that have the Energy Star Rating qualify for a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost up to a maximum of £1100. For additional information and guidelines, go to the Energy Star website for details.

Homeowner Performs the Work or Contract the Project?

The skilled handyman can easily replace old wooden sash windows saving contractor labor costs and reap the rewards of fast payback in lower energy costs. An essential prerequisite for this project is accurately measuring the size of the home’s existing windows. If ordered too small, extra labor and materials to improvise will be necessary to get them to work. Even if successful in getting them to work, problems are likely to prevail. And if the windows are ordered too big, the problems have now turned to major trouble. The chances are good that new windows will need to be ordered.

The cost to upgrade existing windows will vary depending on whether done by the owner or have a licensed contractor perform the service. The estimated cost for a typical double-hung double pane vinyl clad window will cost an average of £200-$500 per window for replacements placed inside existing (and structurally intact) window frames.

Do thermal windows save enough energy to pay for themselves eventually? 

Inefficient windows and doors are accountable for around 40 percent of a home’s heating bill. Thermal windows are two to four times more efficient than single-pane windows. That means a homeowner can expect their winter heating bills to drop on average about 20 percent to 30 percent. The bigger the electric bills and the old windows’ draftier, the quicker new windows will pay for themselves. Utility savings typically equal 5. 5 years to recover the cost of the replacement windows. Decades later, the window frames will still be beautiful and never needing painting. Don’t forget the increase in property value and improved curb appeal of the home by installing these energy-efficient windows!