Do replacement windows really lower the electric bills? The answer is yes. Most homeowners can look for 25 to 50% lower electric and heating bills with new replacement windows. The concept is easy. Since leaky windows allow in heat and cold that fights against what the air conditioner is doing new windows will minimize the work that the air conditioner has to do. It runs less. The climatized air stays in longer and you stay more comfortable in a better environment because the air that is now the right temperature stays in the house.
This chart shows fuel and electric costs over a year. Fifty dollars a month translates to $12,000 over a decade. Saving just a little money on your electric bill also compounds due to rising energy costs. Saving that $50 a month also becomes $12,000 over the same decade. Another consideration that is seldom talked about is the lessened wear and tear on your current HVAC system. If it works 30% less, it will last 30% longer. A system that has 6 years left in it will last 8 years if it has to work less (using that 30% number). Overall we find that replacement windows can save up to $6000 in just 5 years in an average sized home.
The Texas Window Initiative was a joint effort by Texas Electrical providers that encouraged the purchase of new replacement windows for homeowners in West Texas. The problem was potential brown outs and black outs. We are facing those in North Texas in the future as well. In West Texas they had to buy additional power from New Mexico Power and Light in order to accomidate the demand on really hot days and that power came at a premium. The electric companies started the Initiative to encourage better windows to lower consumption and reduce the likelyhood of those brown outs and black outs for the hottest part of the state.
Plus you get to be more comfortable while you live in the home. Also, builders grade windows usually come up in home inspections with fogged glass, bad sash balances and out of square issues that necessitate their replacement to sell a home. This means many homeowners suffer with terrible windows and they still have to fix them to sell the house and move. That's frustrating. You have to buy windows to sell and never even got to enjoy a well climatized home. You spend the money for someone else to stay comforatble. Also glass replacement doesn't address the long term problems of convection and conduction so just putting in new glass every five years is really throwing good money after bad in many ways. Here's a blog we wrote about conduction of heat through a builders grade window.
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