Over the past few weeks, we’ve covered various parts of understanding how to choose windows for your custom home. Minimizing the cost of cooling and heating is a huge part of the decision for energy-conscious home owners. For existing older homes, home owners are usually faced with the decision of keeping and repairing the current windows in your home or replacing them with new windows.
One of the first steps in deciding whether or not to replace your windows is to do the math to figure out the cost-effectiveness of new windows. This process is not difficult, you can run a home energy audit. This can be a DIY project or you can hire a professional to assist you. Either way, this will identify where the major energy-loss areas are located. This audit will help determine if you need to replace all of your windows or simply reapply the weatherstrips or replace some caulk.
Historical or older homes, where the original windows must or should be kept as an essential part of the character of your home, may just need the addition of a storm window that will protect the original window and elevate the energy performance to that of a modern window. A storm window is window is that is typically installed on the exterior of the primary house windows (they are also sometimes installed on the interior), they are installed for weather protection of the original window, and normalizing interior temperatures. They can be custom made to your particular window needs
If you believe that your house’s windows should be completely replaced instead of renovated (it’s a good idea to get a second or third opinion about this), you can still keep with the character of the house and win with substantial energy savings while you’re at it. Another advantage of replacing older windows with new windows is the improvement of durability as well as having a warranty.
Questions to Consider:
- Is this a DIY project? Storm windows are relatively simple to install, replacement windows are trickier and you should gauge your skill level carefully.
- How old are your windows? Windows that are 30 years old should generally be replaced UNLESS they add historical value to your home. Keeping the esthetics of a historical home is very important.
- What is your budget? Replacing windows can be very costly while adding storm windows is relatively inexpensive.