“I want to improve my home’s energy efficiency,” said Michael French, “but I’m not sure where to start. What changes can I make that offer me the most immediate results? What will save me the most energy?”
If you’re like Michael, concerned with saving energy and money, you may be puzzled about home replacement windows. What type of energy savings do home improvement windows offer? What kind of results can you expect?
The first step in assessing how much energy you can save with home replacement windows is to determine how much energy you’re using now. This information is available on your utility bill. Consider how much energy you’re using during an individual billing period, and how much your household consumes on an annual basis. You may notice that there are peak times when you use more power, like frigid winter months when the heat’s on full blast or sweltering summer days that put your air conditioner to the test.
Utility companies can help you determine how your costs compare to similar homes in your region. You’ll want to find out if your costs are higher, lower, or in keeping with what your neighbors pay. Michael was astonished by what he discovered.
“I was paying way more every month than almost everyone else in my neighborhood. The difference was even greater in the winter.”
Determined to discover why this might be, Michael compared his home to those around him. One difference was immediately apparent. “All the neighbors have new windows,” Michael explained. “One has Alside Sheffield windows, and the other has Andersen. Across the way, they have Harvey windows.” Meanwhile, Michael’s home featured the flimsy original construction windows the contractor had installed when the house was built.
Homes that have vinyl replacement windows or fiberglass replacement windows allow their homeowners to use less energy than home with older, single pane windows or the flimsy original construction windows Michael was saddled with. In fact, experts estimate that a home can lose 40% — nearly half! — of their energy through inefficient, leaky windows.
“That’s a lot of money to throw away,” Michael said. “So I decided that the smartest thing I could do was spend some money now to save money later.” Replacing all of the windows in Michael’s home was beyond his budget, so he had to pick and choose which windows to swap for the Alside Sheffield vinyl home replacement windows he’d picked out.
“The window contractor came and inspected all of the windows in the house. He pointed out that two had sill damage, so they were the first to be replaced. Then it was a matter of size: the larger the window was, the more energy that was escaping through it.” That put Michael’s large picture window on the list for replacement.
Saving energy requires a multi-pronged approach. For the ultimate in energy efficiency, there are other factors to consider beyond home replacement windows. However, installing vinyl or fiberglass home replacement windows can help reduce the amount of energy you use to heat and cool your home. That’s good for the environment and your budget.