In a speech to the NAACP yesterday, President Barack Obama called for, among many other things, an increased emphasis on weatherization programs. Weatherization helps homeowners on many levels: increased energy efficiency helps reduce home heating and cooling costs, which puts more money into the family’s budget. These funds can be used for better nutrition, education, clothing or entertainment –all of which contribute to a homeowner’s quality of life.
Weatherization programs also create jobs; jobs that are vitally needed in this dour economy. Weatherization work, by its very nature, is performed on-scene — these are jobs that can not be outsourced overseas.
What does all of this have to do with your replacement window quest? There are a number of things to consider.
First and foremost, the administration’s focus on weatherization brings the replacement window industry front and center. Now, more than ever, there is a need to be discerning when selecting your replacement windows. It is critical to select replacement windows from a high-quality, established, reputable manufacturer, such as Alside, Pella, Harvey, or Champion. Be wary of no-name, increadibly cheap replacement windows that will flood the market: they’re taking advantage of the weatherization hype and have little to no interest in providing a quality product that will serve you well over the years. This will be true no matter if you select vinyl replacement windows, fiberglass replacement windows, or wood replacement windows. Go with the industry leaders: you want to buy windows from a manufacturer that stands behind its products.
Secondly, you will want to be careful when selecting your replacement window specialist. Experience counts! While we all celebrate the creation of new jobs, the truth is that replacement window installation takes skill and training. You don’t want your home to be someone’s training ground — not when so much of the enhanced energy efficiency, noise dampening, and security home replacement windows offer is contingent upon those windows being installed correctly.
Finally, it is time to pay attention to some of the more boring sections of the newspaper. Look for stories on government incentives, tax savings, and special programs encouraging weatherization. Many of these programs are not income based– you don’t need to apply to get the benefit — but they are time sensitive. Be aware of deadlines and critieria you must meet to get the incentive/reward. While few incentives will eliminate the cost of your replacement windows, they can be a meaningful and substantial savings!