Does It Really Matter If I Have Energy Efficient Windows?
You're sick of drafts during the winter and unbearably hot portions of your house during the summer. (And, in Louisiana, that can be even more brutal.) High-quality energy efficient windows can help you reduce your discomfort, protect your home from storms, and save on energy and other costs. Are they worth it for you? That depends on you and your home.
How do energy efficient windows work?
Today's energy efficient windows are made using low e-glass. Low e-glass windows have a special coating of microscopic layers of metallic material, such as silver. These lower a window's emissivity, or ability to block the transfer of energy. It's the "e" in "e-glass."
This coating is transparent—it allows in certain types of solar energy—so your rooms won't be significantly darker with these types of windows. However, low e-glass windows can do a number of things for your home:
- Reflect back heat and energy during hot summer months
- Reduce damage to materials and fabrics from ultraviolet light
- Retain heat during colder months
Low e-glass windows were originally made by coating glass with these materials and fusing them together with heat. Today, soft coat or "solar control low-e" windows are made using the MSVD process. This actually encloses the materials within sealed insulated glass. The result is a better performing window for hotter climates.
Energy efficient windows can reduce energy usage by up to 18% in hot climates, but when professionally installed with the best materials, those numbers could be as high as 30%.
How much can you save with energy efficient windows?
These energy saving benefits sound great, but does the cost for new windows justify the energy savings? That depends on your current windows and climate. As the U.S. Department of Energy explains:
"If your home has very old and/or inefficient windows, it might be more cost-effective to replace them than to try to improve their energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs."
ENERGY STAR provides a replacement window calculator by region. For cities in Louisiana, if you use ENERGY STAR rated windows, you could save $100-200 a year from your electricity bill when replacing single pane windows. (This is an average and will change depending on the size of your home and the current state of your windows.)
How much does it cost to replace windows with energy efficient windows?
The cost of new energy efficient windows will vary greatly depending on:
- The materials and upgrades you choose to get
- How many windows you have in your home
- The current state of your windows and framing
- Where you live
However, the National Association of Realtors reports that a nationwide-average for a 2,450 square foot house typically runs around $15,000 to replace all windows.
What else should I consider?
Even if your energy savings don't completely cover the cost of your new windows, that's not the only thing to think about. You should also think of:
- Resale value
- Weather concerns
- Any tax benefits
For example, the National Association of Realtors also reports that: "window replacement is one of the best home remodeling projects in terms of investment return: For average-quality vinyl windows, you can recoup 80% of the project cost in added home value."
Further, if your windows are broken, unsafe, or unable to stand up to hurricanes, you could be creating a safety hazard for you and your family. You'll also be able to enjoy the use of new windows—that means no drafts, "sticky" or hard-to-adjust sash.
Get a free estimate
Replacing your home's windows can be a big investment, but it can add value to your home and cash in your wallet from energy savings. In the Gulf South, in particular, it can also be a necessary improvement to protect your home from storms and hurricanes.
The numbers given above are estimates and will vary depending on the size of your home, the number of windows, and other factors. Call LAS Shutters + Windows today to get a free estimate on how much it would cost to install better-performing energy efficient windows in your home.