According to the Department of Energy, up to 30% of the energy used to heat and cool your home is wasted on heat loss and heat gain through the windows. To prevent this problem, it’s recommended that you replace your existing windows with energy efficient ones.
Energy efficient windows conserve energy by insulating the home so heat cannot escape in the winter or make its way into your home in the summer. Installing energy efficient windows will reduce your heating and cooling costs, so the windows will pay for themselves over time. However, the initial cost of installing energy efficient windows is steep. Here are a few ways to offset the cost:
Update Existing Windows
If you are trying to stay within a tight budget, put your plans to install energy efficient windows on the backburner for now. Focus on making your existing windows more energy efficient instead. Start by sealing small cracks and gaps around the windows in your home to prevent heat loss and gain. Use caulking to seal the cracks and gaps located on the non-movable parts of the window such as the frame. If the crack or gap is located on a movable part of the window, it’s best to use weatherstripping instead.
Upgrading your window treatments can also increase the energy efficiency of your windows. Hanging drapes that are a medium-colored, closed weave fabric can reduce the heat gains in your home in the summer by around 33%. Cellular shades are another popular choice. This type of window treatment can reduce heat loss by about 40% in the winter and reduce heat gain by about 80% in the summer. Installing window treatments is far less expensive than installing new windows, so it’s a perfect alternative for people who want to conserve energy without breaking their budgets.
Look For Rebates
If you have enough saved to replace your windows entirely, rebates can help homeowners offset the initial cost of energy efficient windows. Look for rebates that are offered by utility providers or government agencies near you. For example, the Oregon Department of Energy offers state residents a rebate of up to $150 for installing new energy efficient windows. Midstate Electric Cooperative, which provides electricity to many Oregon residents, also offers a rebate to customers who have installed energy efficient windows. Contact your state’s Department of Energy and your utility provider to find out if there are any rebates you can take advantage of to offset the cost of new energy efficient windows.
Research Tax Credits
Some states also offer tax credits to residents who have installed energy efficient windows. In Montana, residents who have installed energy efficient windows can receive a credit of up to $500 if they are filing taxes alone or $1000 if they are filing taxes with their spouse. Visit your state’s Department of Revenue website to find out if this type of credit is available where you live.
Energy efficient windows are not cheap, but they are a wise investment. Installing these windows can help conserve energy, reduce monthly expenses, and maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. The initial cost is a small price to pay to experience all of these incredible benefits!