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Does Replacing Windows Really Save Energy?

The problem is that people selling replacement windows have a product that people can touch and feel, and see after they are installed.  This is sort of like solar panels, or even a new car – you can show them off to your friends – unlike the more important stuff that you can’t see – like duct sealing, air sealing, attic insulation, and lots of other things, most of which fall into the category of Home Performance. But most of those things aren’t cool, or sexy, or even visible after they’re installed.

It’s the same reason some people will spend a lot of money on granite counters and fancy appliances but won’t spend anything on better insulation or more efficient HVAC systems.  If you can’t see it, it doesn’t matter.  Except when they start getting really big electric bills – then they start looking for ways to save money. That’s when those window salesmen swoop in and convince them that their windows will “pay for themselves” in a year.  It’s too bad that home performance isn’t as sexy or as easy to sell as those fancy windows (or granite counters).  Maybe some day enough people will understand that fixing up the important things is a better investment in efficiency than windows (and granite counters). In the meantime, we will have to put up with the promises we get from window replacement contractors.

Related:
Cold Weather Window Solutions
Eco-Friendly Window Coverings
23 Tips for Keeping the House Cool
10 Worst Home Trends of the Decade

Green building consultant Carl Seville writes for Networx. Get home & garden ideas like this on Networx.com.

Read more: Conservation, Crafts & Design, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Home, Household Hints, Materials & Architecture,

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Networx.com empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.

27 comments

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6:02AM PDT on Aug 7, 2013

New window replacement can not decorate your home but also provide energy efficiency.
Regards,
Window Medics

11:38PM PDT on May 3, 2013

It is true that windows saves energy. There are energy star certified windows that can really protect interior from cold and heat.

12:36AM PDT on Mar 15, 2013

Replacing old and ineffective furnishings and choosing new window installation can save us a lot of money. not only the energy efficiency, but also it improves the resale value of our home.

1:30AM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

When I looked into replacing windows what I found was that most of the double glazed windows out there have ALUMINIUM frames. Since a lot of the heat loss from windows is actually through the frame this means that you get very little gain. BIG scam if you ask me. There are also lots of do it yourself options (like double windows/storm windows or shrink-wrap type coverings) but most of them mean that it is then very difficult to open/close your windows so probably only good for really cold places. You can do almost as well with thick curtains and pelmets or similar. Our blinds are set into the window area which is not too bad.

5:56PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

Thanks for the info, def needed :)

4:42PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

I like that this posts asks people to think before they purchase and to not believe the sales pitches.

3:21PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

I'm surprised at the question.This has been promoted and subsidized in Germany since the 70s!
Maybe your readers here are all too young to know...:)?

2:10PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

Thanks for the info.

9:15PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

depends on where you live & how much weather temperatures you want to keep out; occasionally it can be helpful in extreme temperatures.

7:32PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

thanks for sharing this, sure I have windows that need replacing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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