Living in an older home may involve making a few concessions when it comes to some of the more modern amenities. Although you might not have the most up-to-date kitchen or the bathroom of your dreams, it doesn’t mean you have to pay higher utility bills because older homes aren’t as energy efficient as newer ones. However, if your older home still has its original windows, that might be exactly what you’re doing.
Older windows age and weather over time. When they fail to seal, close, or insulate properly against heat and cold, they can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars each year in the form of higher energy bills. But can installing energy-saving windows in an older home actually save you money? Yes, it can! Replacing your older windows with newer, energy-saving ones really does make your home more cost effective.
The Importance of Window Seals
Time and constant exposure to the elements eventually breaks down the seals on and around older windows. When windows don’t seal properly, or no longer seal completely, it allows heated and cooled air to escape more easily. This has a direct impact on your ability to effectively heat and cool your home throughout the year. As heating and cooling become less efficient, your energy costs start to climb.
Many older homes with the original single-pane windows—or even double-pane windows—that aren’t properly sealed will radiate with cold during the winter and allow cooled air to escape during the summer. You might even notice a draft near windows with poor or non-existent insulation. This air exchange is usually more noticeable during extreme cold or hot weather and explains why your HVAC system seem to run constantly during the coldest and hottest months of the year.
Instead of replacing a poorly insulated window, some homeowners decide to just repair or replace the window seals. This can be a little tricky without the help and expertise of an experienced window professional. If not properly sealed, the window will continue to allow air in and out and it might even start getting foggy. In addition, unless applied exactly as instructed and under specific conditions, many consumer-grade sealants don’t hold up well over time and must be reapplied every year. Whether you hire a professional to replace the windows or to repair the seals, you’ll recoup some of the cost with the energy savings you’ll get over the years.
Related Topic: Fixing Foggy Windows
Single or Double Pane?
The type of windows you have—single or double pane—can also be a deciding factor when it comes to replacing your windows with ones that are more energy efficient. Single pane windows are much less efficient when it comes to maintaining a constant temperature inside your home. This makes sense when you consider a single pane of glass can’t offer as much insulation against the elements as a double layer can. Take a quick survey of the windows in your home and count how many are single pane. If more than half of your windows are the single pane type, it might be time to consider replacing at least half—if not all—your windows. This might seem like an expensive investment, but it’s one that pays immediate dividends in the form of lower utility cost.
Changing Your Look and Feel
In addition to protecting you and your family from the elements, the windows in your home serve another important purpose. They’re usually one of the first things people notice when they look at your house. So, in addition to improving the energy efficiency of your home, installing newer and more energy-efficient windows can also enhance the curb appeal and increase your home’s value.
If you live in an area that experiences severe weather, you might also want to consider installing impact windows. Although more expensive, impact windows offer superior insulation and protection against the weather. Impact windows are also a bonus feature for buyers and can be an important selling point if you decide to put your home up for sale.
Short-Term Cost, Long-Term Savings
Many older homes have features and characteristics that make them very appealing. However, when the windows in your older home start costing you more than you expected, it may be time to replace them. It’s an investment that can improve the energy efficiency of your home and save money on your utility bills for years to come. To learn more about how you can replace your old windows, contact the window professionals at your local Glass Doctor.