Windows let the sunshine in, but in many cases, they also let the heat in (or out, in the winter). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat transfer through windows can account for 10 to 25 percent of your heating and air conditioning costs. Older, single-paned windows are the biggest energy wasters.
Replacing older windows with energy-efficient ones can be expensive, but doing so will save you money in the long run by reducing your energy use as much as 30 percent. Energy Star-rated windows are twice as efficient as typical models sold just 10 years ago. A variety of factors determine a window’s energy efficiency:
Windows purchased in 2009 or 2010 that meet specific efficiency criteria are eligible for a federal tax credit equal to 30 percent of the purchase price (up to a maximum of $1,500 for all qualifying home improvements).
If you can’t replace your old windows now, there are other steps you can take:
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