(WGGB) — We’re all looking for ways to save energy. Replacing your windows is one way to cut costs, improve your family’s comfort and enhance the overall appearance, but it’s a project that should not be entered lightly.
When it comes to the things around your house nothing lasts forever and windows are no different.
If you’re going to put in new windows, your investment could make for a good return in your heating and cooling bills throughout the year – savings that could add up to as much as 70 percent.
The two most popular windows are wood and vinyl.
“Typically when you use a wood window it’s a clad version, meaning it’s a solid wood window but it’s covered on the outside with either vinyl or aluminum, that way you don’t have the upkeep and you don’t need to worry about them rotting and things like that. And then the other window is a vinyl window, which is 100% vinyl. It’s inside and out maintenance free and should last you a lifetime,” says window salesman Chris Pasa.
The style, shape and type of window will play a factor it it’s cost.
A triple-paned window will cost quite a bit more than a single-paned one, but will provide better energy efficiency and long-term energy savings.
Passa adds, “The most important rating system that windows have today is the U-factor. U-factor is a number that they put on each window that tells you just how efficient it is. The lower the number, the more efficient that window is.”
Angie’s list says it’s important that windows are installed correctly. Doing it wrong can lead to many problems like air leakage and loss of energy efficiency.
It could also void your warranty.
“When hiring a window contractor you want to do your homework. Remember that this is an investment in your house that is going to last for a long period of time so you want to know what kind of guarantees and warranties come with the windows,” notes Angie Hicks of Angie’s List.
If you’re concerned about the price tag up front, look at replacing your windows one by one over time as money become available.
You should also look into federal tax credits available for qualifying windows, which can help lower your upfront costs.