As residential and commercial insulation contractors, every day we insulate someone’s house and without a doubt the subject of window replacement comes up. We are in the energy saving business after all. Customers call us up to solve energy and comfort problems and we provide energy audits and actually do the work required. This makes us unique, I think. Anyway, with all of the window companies spending millions of advertising dollars, they have convinced people heat and warm air moves sideways or horizontally out of their home! As you of course know, hot air balloons rise.
Yes, some cold air enters the home replacing heated air, but it is mostly from the basement, not the windows. We have performed work on thousands of homes; insulation, installed blower doors, and infrared scans. We KNOW this to be true. I’ve seen the savings from what we do. I have the Christmas cards that say; “thank you, now I can buy shoes for my kids.” “I’ve lived here for 30 years and it was never warmer in my house before.”
It’s not like I wouldn’t want to replace windows after all it is a lot easier to replace a window then crawling around a hot attic in the summer. It’s just not cost effective from an energy savings point of view. Window replacement is actually the most expensive and least cost effective retrofitting item you could do to your home. Insulation will pay for itself in savings in about three or four years, a window will take over twenty years to recoup the investment. Replace your windows because: you want to improve property value, the ease of cleaning, they look nicer, etc. not because you think you are going to save a bunch of $$$ after the windows have been replaced. Oh, by the way, we get at least 8-10 calls in the winter that go like this; “I replaced all my doors and windows this summer, why am I still cold?”