As windows age, they naturally have a tendency to become leaky and less durable (particularly single-pane windows). This leaves many homeowners frustrated with their energy inefficiency, and they are left to wonder, “Are replacement windows worth the cost?” Replacement windows are certainly a significant investment, one that requires careful considerations in order to make the right decision for your particular situation. However, in many cases, we believe they are well worth your while.
Are Replacement Windows Worth the Cost?
There are four primary factors you should consider when deciding whether to get replacement windows:
- Return on investment in terms of home market value.
- Return on investment in terms of energy efficiency savings.
- Home comfortability and the environmental impact.
- How long you plan to be living in your current residence.
Return On Investment: Home Market Value
Research has shown that vinyl window replacements (vinyl is recommended for the best energy efficiency) recoup about 70-80% of costs in terms of your home’s market value. This figure can vary based on the area you live in and other window specifications. Regardless though, it’s a good indication that home buyers appreciate the investment in new, energy efficient windows.
Return on Investment: Energy Efficiency
Modern window/glass technology has significantly upgraded windows in terms of energy efficiency. Many homeowners now upgrade from single-pane to double-pane windows and see their energy bills go down substantially.
The difference between the two? Double-pane windows are made of two layers of glass, often with insulating gas (argon or krypton). This construction slows drafts and energy leaks. They can also be made with coatings, such as low-E, that repel solar heat and provide further energy efficiency benefits.
Studies have shown that these replacement windows are beneficial in both heating and cooling season. According to efficientwindows.org, a study found that energy-efficient windows provided 15-16% energy bill savings to typical existing constructions (in Minneapolis), and 11-37% during cooling season (in Phoenix).
Home Comfort and the Environmental Impact
There are benefits to replacement windows that can’t be measured by numbers. The reduction of cold drafts/condensation and strong direct sunlight provides a more comfortable experience within your home.
The environmental benefits shouldn’t be overlooked either. As you reduce the amount of time that you use your heater or A/C, you also reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
How Long You Plan to Live in Current Residence
Getting replacement windows should be viewed as a long-term investment. You will receive the most benefit from replacement windows if you plan to stay in your current home for the foreseeable future.