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Do Energy Efficient Windows Really Save You Money?

With the ever-rising cost of energy, it’s in your best interest to find practical solutions to save money. Sure you…
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Jacob Wadding

With the ever-rising cost of energy, it’s in your best interest to find practical solutions to save money. Sure you can skip that daily Starbucks coffee, but what about greater saving solutions? 

Did you know that addressing energy loss in your home is one of the best ways to reduce your energy expenses? That’s because a drafty house can spike your energy bills, making it difficult to keep your home cold in the summer and warm in the winter. But how much do energy-efficient windows save you? Let’s take a deeper look below.

Construction Worker Installing New Windows In House

What Are Energy Efficient Windows?

These windows are designed to help prevent cooled or heated air from escaping your home, thanks to their increased insulation. This feature helps reduce your home’s energy usage since it doesn’t require as much to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. 

Older or poorer-insulated homes can have significant energy spikes to try and combat exterior temperature changes which can lead to heftier utility bills. Since energy-efficient windows don’t do this, they help save you money and create a more comfortable living situation.

What Are Energy Star Windows?

An Energy Star rating is the seal of approval that makes finding energy-efficient windows easy. These highly efficient windows are held to high standards and regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to earn the badge of approval. They also have different special features depending on the type of climate they will be used in:

  • Northern Climate Energy Star windows are made to let in infrared light to trap warm air inside your home. This type of insulated glass was built to trap the sun’s rays and prevent heat loss. These double or triple-paned windows have a low U-factor to cause heat generation and prove their insulating capabilities.
  • Southern Climate Energy Star windows are designed to keep excess heat out of homes. They still use the low U-factor to prove insulation value which makes them ideal for warm weather climates. This type of glass was designed to keep out excess UV rays, reducing heat transfer to keep your home cool.

How Do Energy Efficient Windows Work?

A low emissivity glass (Low-E glass) can block up to 90% of the sun’s rays to better help regulate temperatures inside the home. Tints, gas fills, and reflective coatings can also be added to regulate heat. A great example of this is Argon gas. Argon gas fill is used in double pane windows to add better insulation and minimize heat transfer and solar heat gain through the glass.

Since it’s odorless and colorless, it doesn’t impact the visible light transmittance. It can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it reduces the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). This is the fraction of solar radiation that penetrates a window and is subsequently released as heat in a home.

There are other Low-E glass options that can enhance new windows, such as Krypton gas. This gas is great at insulating hot air, but it’s a more expensive window replacement than Argon gas. When choosing between low emissivity coatings, you have two options: Hard Coat Low E coating and Soft Coat Low-E coating. 

These Low-E coatings are chemicals approved by the Department of Energy and that can be added for enhanced energy efficiency. Make sure to ask which added features are on the windows your glass doctor is installing. They may even have great recommendations about which works best with either vinyl windows or aluminum frames.

Infrared inspection of heat loss of window at house

How Much Do Energy Efficient Windows Cost?

As mentioned above, leaky, old windows are certainly not saving you money. In fact, single-pane windows simply cannot beat the energy performance and sheer quality of energy-efficient windows. Recently, the Department of Energy estimated that by installing energy-efficient windows, homeowners could have an average savings of $125 to $465 dollars a year.

While replacing single-pane windows may come with a larger upfront cost, you can see the significant long-term savings. Energy Star studies can also confirm that depending on where you live, you could save between 21% and 31% off heating and cooling costs with new windows.

While energy-efficient window costs will vary depending on the brand, type, frame, and any additional energy-saving features you want. That being said, the lowest starting point for an energy-efficient double-paned glass window with an Energy Star rating, hung in a single vinyl window, can be around $325. That number doesn’t include installation labor costs, which vary between $30 to 40 an hour.

Are Energy-Efficient Windows Worth It?

While installing new energy-efficient windows can run anywhere between $270 to $800, how much of a difference does this make? Replacing only one window will lead to much less noticeable savings compared to using all Energy Star replacement windows throughout your home.

If you are only planning on upgrading one replacement window with a multiple panes window replacement, you might not see major energy savings. If you plan on investing in all the windows of your place, you could see greater savings each month thanks to highly efficient window performance. Energy estimates will vary based on the window type.

If you’re deciding to install energy-efficient windows, you want to know if the overhead fee will be worth the upfront costs. This will really come down to what type of windows you are replacing. For example, if you notice your windows have a warped wood frame, that will significantly improve your energy savings if you install a new window frame and energy-efficient windows.

Then again, most homes already have double pane windows installed properly, so replacing those windows for Energy Star ones won’t make a large expense difference. If you already have these windows, then you can expect less energy savings of around $27 to $111 per year which might take longer to offset the initial cost of your new windows.

Improving Your Home’s Net Worth

When analyzing whether or not your new investment is worthwhile, it’s important to look at how these new features will add value to your home. Energy-efficient window installation increases your home’s property value by $12,000 or more. This could be a smart improvement to make, especially if you plan on listing your property or selling it in the future.

Saving With Energy Tax Credits

The financial benefits don’t stop with reduced utility bills and improved property value. Depending on where you live, you may even qualify for energy tax credits. Check with local installers and distributors to see if there are any tax incentives or rebates for replacement windows that reduce your carbon footprint.

Install Energy Saving Windows Today

While replacing windows may be a higher initial investment, they do cut down on energy costs, add property value, and may even qualify for tax incentives. At ARCH Exteriors, our trained team can proudly be your glass doctor, as we help you install your new energy-saving glass panes. We’ll discuss the benefits of different low e-coatings and all the benefits of installing energy-efficient windows to help save you money each month.

Don’t continue to deal with a drafty house that spikes your energy bills. Upgrade your energy efficiency today by choosing energy-efficient windows. Contact the team at ARCH Exteriors today to start seeing a huge difference.

About the Author
Your home is probably the most expensive thing you own. When you hire somebody to make improvements, you want high-quality work. In addition, you hope they’ll take the same care you would. You want someone with a good reputation, legitimate credentials, well established, using quality materials, and who charges a fair price. For over 11 years, I have worked hard to provide all of those benefits to my clients. One of the major reasons we have been able to do that is our ability to keep highly qualified personnel. Our workers are well trained, properly motivated, and managed professionally. I make certain that I convey measurable systems and procedures that our team understands and can readily follow.

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