Repair, don’t replace, to save on energy costs! While property owners may think that replacing “outdated” windows will save money on heating costs, it’s usually just not so.

Replacements generally do not live up to energy savings expectations, in fact, in 2012 the Federal Trade Commission determined five replacement window companies were deceiving customers with promised savings.

In reality, it takes 20 to 30 years to recoup in energy savings the money spent on replacement windows, and the service life of replacements is usually shorter than the amount of time it takes for them to earn back their price tag. Most replacements can’t be repaired and are destined for the landfill when their short service life is up.

Traditionally-built wood windows, on the other hand, have lasted 200 years and longer with appropriate maintenance. When paired with storm windows, they can perform as well as thermal-pane replacements. And even wood windows in poor condition can be repaired, at a lower cost than a quality new window.

It’s important to plan home energy improvements with a holistic approach. The biggest payback usually comes from sealing air leaks and adding insulation, not from window upgrades.

Click here for a list of local window repair providers.

Check out the following resources on window repair and home energy upgrades:

Tips on sealing air leaks from energy.gov

Tips on adding insulation from energy.gov

Reasons to repair, not replace, wood windows

The real cost of removing historic windows

Tips on adding weatherstripping and storm windows

FTC finds replacement window companies misled customers

 

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