Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chesapeake Real Estate: Those New Windows....Worth Doing?

The New Window Dilemma

You couldn't possibly turn on the T.V. or Radio with out hearing an ad from and Window Company or a contractor offering "Lowest Price on Star Rated Windows".   These ads are almost frequent as new car advertisement in Chesapeake and all of Hampton Roads.

From clients, I have heard the common tactic, probably to be expected as there are options available, of the window salesman offering more energy efficient window.  As heating/cooling costs are one of the largest monthly cost in home ownership, it is very logical for a home owner to seek energy efficiency.

As noted in Al Clark's Home Action article below, window replacement may not be the absolute first thing a home owner should do.  Not surprisingly, improved insulation will typically improve the energy efficiency better.

Not as flashy as new windows, but more bang for the buck.

Albert Clark

Co- Creator, HomeActions
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Window Replacement Firms Mislead On Energy Savings

If you’re in the market to buy new windows, you’ll hear a lot of claims about how much energy you could save. Be skeptical of anything you hear because the Federal Trade Commission has repeatedly fined window companies for false claims. The FTC’s window-buying advice is worth reading before you shop.
As it turns out, new windows aren't nearly the most cost-effective or energy-effective means of making your house more energy efficient. Energy experts, like Brandon Theil of Chicago Energy Consultants, say that the best bang for a homeowners buck is sealing leaks and increasing insulation throughout the home.
Other energy solutions include:
  • Use weather stripping around your windows.
  • Seal up holes with caulk or other materials.
  • Apply plastic to cover drafty windows.
  • Insulate the attic space.
Eventually your windows will have to be replaced, but if these other issues aren't addressed first your home won’t be any more energy efficient than it was before. Start with ensuring that there are no places where air is escaping your home.
For example, this may be at areas in your basement where plumbing work emerges from the walls. If this isn't sealed properly it may cause a huge reduction in energy efficiency.
If you’re serious about improving your home’s energy efficiency, start with an energy audit. That’s a home inspection followed by recommendations for which tasks to do first and estimated savings. Contact me if you need a referral to an energy auditor.
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