New vinyl windows for an average of 2,450 square foot house cost about $19 000 according to most realtors. However, this does not mean that the odds are against you. Window replacement is one of the best remodelling projects that you can embark on for your home and it will yield pleasing results especially when you decide to sell your property. An average quality vinyl window can add value to your home, and you will recover all the money you spent.
Committing to new windows is a big decision so one should think very carefully before deciding. In most cases homeowners will save on their energy bills just by investing $1 000 in insulation, window glazing, sealing air leaks and repairing your windows.
What is the Cost and ROI of Replacement Windows?
The price range for energy-efficient windows is wide, but Energy Star-qualified windows can be found from $120 for a 36-inch-by-72-inch, single-hung window and can go up to 10 times that. However, with labour, you will be paying about $270 to $800 or more per window. However, windows at the lower end of the price spectrum are not as energy efficient as the expensive ones.
You will also see savings on your utility bill. In general, you’ll save up approximately 15% yearly on your energy bill if your house windows are replaced with energy-efficient windows with low-E coatings.
However, the savings can vary widely by climate, local energy costs, and the energy efficiency of both the windows that you bought, and the windows being replaced. Finally, you may qualify for low-interest loans or other incentives offered by your local utility although fewer of these are becoming available.
Price vs. Energy Efficiency
The most efficient windows available today are usually the most expensive, but it is not necessary to buy the highest-end products to identify utility bill savings or improve the comfort and look of your home. There are a few trusted window brands that will tell you whether the window will perform well based on your climate.
The Language of Windows
It is beneficial to get to know the terms that appear on window labels:
Glazing is the glass used in the window. The quantity of layers of glazing (single, double, or triple) does not necessarily equal greater competence. Glazing coatings can considerably affect a window’s U-factor, or degree of insulation against the outdoors.
Low-E stands for low emissivity is the window’s capacity to reflect rather than take in the heat when coated with a thin metallic substance. Low-E coatings add up to 10% to the price of a window.
If your windows are in relatively good shape and you are looking for better insulation, you can buy and apply Low-E films to your windows. They are efficient, but not as much as those put between glazing layers during manufacturing. Ensure that you look for the NFRC rating on these films. Low-E films start at about $0.50 per square foot, but you may want to find out what is the cost of having them professionally fitted for large applications.
Gas fills typically consist of argon or krypton gas filled between glazing layers to increase its insulation and transfer heat slowly.
Spacers separate sheets of glass in a window to improve its ability to insulate; the design and material are important to prevent condensation and heat loss.
Frame materials include vinyl, wood, aluminium, fiberglass, or a combination of those. They each have different capabilities: Vinyl windows are good insulators and are easy to maintain but contract and expand with temperature changes, affecting the window’s air leakage; wood offers a timeless look but is similarly affected by moisture changes and needs to be maintained regularly; fiberglass is very stable and low-maintenance but can be expensive; and aluminium is lightweight, stable, and a good sound proofer but is a rapid conductor of heat, making it a drain on energy efficiency.
If you want to improve your windows at home, you should think about doing a home renovation project. You can find and replace parts that you may not have placed importance on previously, like the doors. Even if your current doors have some life left in them, replacing them with energy efficient doors can have valuable benefits, which include better comfort, less energy consumption, and a positive impact on your home’s worth.
Why should you consider home renovations?
- Reduce Total Energy Consumption
You waste more energy than you realise through your home’s doors. When your home uses doors that are adequately insulated with plenty of thermal reflection ability, the temperature stays steady and it takes less energy to maintain your favoured conditions.
You can tell how energy efficient a door is by looking at its R-value, or reflectivity value, which tells you how much energy it reflects. Doors are rated between 1 and 9, with 1 being the least reflective and 9 being the most.
Additionally, being friendly to the environment, reducing your total energy usage takes dollars off your utility bill, which translates into savings over time.
- Qualify for Tax Credits
With energy efficient doors, homeowners may qualify for tax incentives when they install energy efficient doors on their property, which account for 30% of the purchase cost and up to $1,500. If you needed extra motivation to install energy efficient doors, this cost reduction may be just the push you need. This is even true for energy efficient windows, so you may want to consider going all-out and upgrading other areas of your home.
- Keep Your Home More Comfortable
Standard doors can negatively affect your home’s climate control by allowing the air conditioning to escape, or letting the heat and humidity enter, especially if your door has a low R-value or an ill-fitting frame. When unnecessary humidity comes into your home, it’s not only uncomfortable, but damaging to your possessions, too.
Keep your home at a constant temperature and humidity value when you invest in doors that fit the frames and are manufactured to minimize energy transfer.
- Protect Your Belongings
The UV rays from the sun damages your furniture and flooring over time, especially if your front door has a window, or if you use glass doors. Whenever you have a door that faces into the sun, ensure you replace it with a door that has low-emissivity coating. In addition to contributing to energy efficiency, this coating reduces UV damage from the sun, which causes sever fading in wood finishes and fabrics over time.
- Increase Your Home Value
Home buyers care about energy efficiency so if you want to sell your home, energy efficient doors are one of the important selling points to increase your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers. It is important that the homeowner sees these improvements as a home investment and not another cost.
Just because you consciously notice any issues with your home’s existing doors, chances are that you’ll see an improvement by switching to energy efficient. When it comes to a component as fundamental as a door, don’t hold back. It makes more of a difference than you think.