Should I replace?

dogridgeMay 2, 2008

I am trying to decide whether to replace the windows in our 1964 ranch. Currently it has TDL, single pane wood windows, which I really like. They are in excellent condition, both frame/sills and sashes.

I would want to replace them with SDL wood or fiberglass windows (for paintability) I'm sort of a window snob, so I would want nice windows.

The only reason I would replace them is for increased energy savings. Is there any way to calculate the energy savings I would gain from new windows?

Most of the windows are smaller (4x4') and there are only 13 on the house, so not like there is huge energy loss anyway. We also live in a warmer climate with relatively mild winters, but hot humid summers.

Thanks for your input.

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If you are looking for maximum ennergy efficiency, then I'd be looking for a window with as low a Solar Heat Gain as possible and as low a U factor.

Using Houston, TX. as the location and assuming a 2000 sq ft. house with approx 15 36x62 double hung/single glazed windows, the est. annual heating and cooling costs would be approx. $1000-$1200 per year.

Comparing that to the same house with double glazed, low e and argon gas with a SHGC of .39 and a U factor of .32, the cost would be reduced to approx. $750-$850. per year.

Using a good triple pane window with a SHGC of .26 and a U factor of .18 would reduce the costs to approx. $600-$700. per year.

Keep in mind there are many factors which can affect your total energy savings such as the amount of air infiltration, shading coefficients, wall and attic insulation, even the surrounding landscape and height of your property.

I would encourage you to seriously think towards the future when considering energy efficiency. Purchase the absolute best window you can afford.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 7:54PM
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If your windows are in good shape why are you replacing. If you live in a hot climate are there any "films" that can be placed on the glass. My parents had a film professionally placed on a window in a cabin that couldn't have drapes but got too hot when sun was shinning on it, really helped. (you can buy do it yourself stuff too) I was in Arizona and saw that some people had these extra "screens" on window that shade window somewhat, although they probably may not look that great.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:20AM
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We are located in central NC. The house is only 1500 sq feet and is on a wooded lot, so there is nice shade.

The windows are in great shape and I am trying to factor in not only the energy savings I will get, but also the energy and resources required to make the new windows. I have not spent a winter there, so I don't know if it will be drafty or cold. I was thinking of getting some of those nice storm windows that can be removed in the summer.

Thanks for all of the info re the energy savings. Very useful to be able to calculate my return on investment.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 3:33PM
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According to Consumer Reports, it'll take 20 or so years to recoup your investment on new windows.

And here's another view that pegs the return period at 13 years.

I'm a window snob, too, and for the money, I'd invest in storms.

I googled "return on investment replacement windows" for these 2 links.

Here is a link that might be useful: Consumer Reports

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:20PM
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