How and Why to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows

| 9/24/2015 9:34:00 AM


Ever since I began researching sustainable living more than a decade ago, I have heard the same thing over and over again: The single most important step you can take to make your home “green” is to swap out your old windows with shiny, new, energy-efficient ones.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the amount of energy lost annually through windows costs consumers $35 billion. Heat loss and heat gain through and around windows accounts for between 10 and 25 percent of our heating and air conditioning usage, the largest consumer of energy in a modern home.

According to Energy Star, energy-efficient windows can save 7 to 15 percent of this energy loss (with storm windows, that figure rises to 25 to 50 percent), saving between $27 and $111 a year on energy bills for a 2,000-square-foot single-story home with storm windows or double-pane windows, or $126 to $465 if your home has single-pane windows. That’s a significant saving both for your pocket and the planet.

If your home already has storm windows or double paned windows, you can take steps to further improve their efficiency by caulking and weatherstripping. Window treatments will also help keep heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer. However, if your windows are old, damaged and/or single-paned, there is no doubt that you will save a lot of energy by replacing them with Energy Star rated windows.


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