What Would a Home Economist, an Environmentalist, an Allergist, and Your Mother Say About Your Home Windows?

By Howard Replacer

August 4, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


We’re always being told that home replacement windows are a wise decision especially when retiring any window older than 10 years for a new Energy Star-rated window. Anyone would expect a window salesman to tell us that, but we didn’t invite the window pitchman into the conversation.

home windows
Via power-door-locks.com

Ok, we know mom would say, “Did you run out of glass cleaner?” and then go to the kitchen to make refreshments whether anyone wanted a snack or not.

If the windows were the topic of conversation with the other three guests, what would they say?

The home economist has taken a moment to compliment you on not having multiple copies of the same electronic devices (not 2, just 1 flat screen display; not 2, just 1 play station; etc.). But when it comes to the 14-year-old windows, she begins interrogating you about your energy bills and the single glazed aluminum double hung foggy panes she’s having to try to look through to see the front yard.

She gives her best over the glasses lecture about the certainty that home utility bills can significantly impact the household budget for good or for bad. She wastes no time lining out the costs of the electricity bill in the average American home:

• 44% HVAC systems (heating and cooling)
• 33% Lighting and other appliances
• 14% Water heating
• 9% Refrigeration (refrigerator and freezer)

“Replacing a set of 5 single glazed windows with Energy Star-rated insulated window replacements will reduce a 2,000 square foot home utility bill by 18%,“ she smugly states as she reaches for the lemon zinger cookies your mother set out for the curious guests. (Of course, you know that the average American 2,000 square foot home expends a minimum between $1,400 and $2,000 for utilities annually).

See Also: 15 Budget Worthy Smart Home Improvements

That prompts the environmentalist to chime. “You know that each American home produces more harm for the environment than their gas guzzling vehicles do, right?”

The HVAC systems have to work harder when home windows are like slotted spoons letting outside air through crevices and cracks, instead of having sealed casement frames to keep the conditioned air inside. Overworked HVAC systems leak refrigerants that damage the environment and contribute to global warming.

This is not even mentioning the increased load to produce the energy, send it through overworked channels and deliver it through weakened grids to every household in your neighborhood and throughout the United States. Does rolling brownouts or direct blackouts mean anything to anyone?

He doesn’t stop there. The older windows can be recycled for their glass and framing materials while the newer windows are constructed from cast off materials already manufactured and redesigned. The additional foam insulation and batted insulation along with putty, caulk and paint all can come from recycled materials and landfills can be used less and less.

As the environmentalists reaches for his third cookie (but who’s counting), the Allergist coughs and wheezes to accentuate her remarks. “There is no barrier to the allergens, pollutants, and insects that gain entry through these loose and cracked window frames. If I had an aromatic incense stick, I could show you the smoke trail conning behind as the wind comes seeping by the panes” (if you’re not from Oklahoma you may not know their state song lyrics, but the lady was trying to be funny).

Over 50 million Americans suffer from airborne allergens and the most common indoor/outdoor triggers are cat, dog and rodent dander; cockroach and dust mite allergens; mold spores; grass, tree, and weed pollen according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAF).

The University of Iowa Department of Environmental Health study found that traditional room side blinds collected indoor airborne allergens 200 times more than between-the-glass window shades.

The air quality is further hampered due to the moisture collecting from condensation differences between the moist air on the inside and the dryer air on the outside. Some folks even over-compensate with humidifiers in the home to offset the warmer dryer air of the summer months and to their own peril introduce more damage to their health.

With a sharp cough, she’s done.

What a home visit!

Here’s what we know will be of importance to all your guests:

Replacement windows will pay for themselves within five years of installation. Any homeowner can calculate within a few dollars the actual savings for their specific home even before they purchase replacement windows.

replacement windows
Via flickr.com

Interestingly, there are free programs like RESFEN that allow users to identify and pick the most energy-efficient and cost-effective window.

A homeowner or builder can describe his climate, the specific square footage of the entire home or just a specific room, the heating and air conditioning system being used, and utility usage. It even gets so precise as to include the window dimension, the orientation as to which point on the compass the window faces, and any environmental factors such as shade trees or vegetation affecting the window site.

Once the homeowner adds in the specifics of the window replacement, such as U-factor or light transfer ratio (easily provided by the manufacturer), an accurate annual heating and cooling cost is calculated allowing for seasonal spikes unique to the homeowner’s geo-tract neighborhood.

Energy Star replacement windows may provide you with a state or federal tax credit and you can know with just a quick little call to 1-800-TAX-FORM or your state tax people. In many cases the credit is 10% of the purchase price and in some cases includes the labor costs.

The value of the home is increased by 5 to 7% on average with the windows upgraded to Energy Star standards. When up for sale, new buyers look for every angle of perpetual savings they can find.

See Also: 5 Practical Home Improvements To Sell A House

Imagine being able to provide a print out of low utility costs for a house your size! Even if you don’t move, the enjoyment of savings is still yours.

So, once the guests leave and mom has taken to using the glass cleaner on those windows of yours, it’s time to contact a home window replacement professional in your area to provide you an official quote for home window replacement installation just for you.

Who invited all those people over, anyway? Mom, if you’re still here, where are those lemon zingers?

Howard Replacer

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