Are you one of the people who have a never-ending list of home improvements you’d like to accomplish someday? With so many potential projects and a finite budget to get them all done, it can be hard to choose where to spend your time and money.
Your first instinct may be to work on the more glamorous projects first—perhaps a kitchen or bathroom remodel that will be instantly visible to guests. But don’t underestimate the value of a more practical investment such as replacement windows.
Overall, replacement windows are worth the money you’ll spend on them, all while delivering both measurable and intangible benefits that will improve your home—and your life.
Recouping the Cost: How Much are New Windows Worth?
Home improvement projects are a great way to increase your home’s market value, but very few improvements actually recoup 100 percent of their costs. Replacement windows, however, are a sound investment; you’ll recoup around 70 to 80 percent of your costs on your home’s real estate market value. To give some perspective, bathroom remodels all have cost-value ratios of only around 56 percent.
Now that we know the return on investment is real in terms of market value, what are some other ways that replacement windows prove themselves to be well worth the cost?
Increasing energy efficiency
When thinking about the cost of your home, you probably know that you need to consider the entire lifecycle, not simply your upfront costs or monthly mortgage. Utilities are a major expense, and as your home’s infrastructure ages, those costs will only continue to rise.
Today’s window technology has come a long way from how homes used to be built, and newer windows’ energy efficiency is better than ever. When done right, replacement windows can save you money on your energy bills.
Windows come in single and multiple glazings, double pane or triple pane. Each pane offers an extra, insulating air layer between you and the outdoors. Window professionals agree that single pane windows, which offer no insulation between the glass panes, are leaky and inefficient.
The best way to compare window efficiency is to look at the whole-unit U-value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).
U-value: Rating for door and window units that describes how much heat energy is gained or lost. The lower the U-value, the more energy efficient the system in question will be.
SHGC: The fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window. The lower a window’s Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits.
Why do these numbers matter? The less heat that you gain or lose through your windows, the less you will need to run your heating system or air conditioner. If you’re replacing outdated single pane windows with little to no energy efficiency, you’ll see a larger difference in your energy bill.
Improving energy efficiency through window replacement goes hand-in-hand with increasing your home’s value, since buyers typically favor homes with features that lower utility bills—especially in places with high energy costs such as the Northeast.
Improving the comfort of your home
The importance of being comfortable in your own home can’t be underestimated. Whether it’s blocking drafts in winter or reducing solar heat gain in summer, the right windows can offer a level of unmatched comfort—and who wouldn’t want that?
One window feature that can increase your home’s comfort is low-E window coatings. Low-E, or low emissivity coatings, block the transfer of heat through radiation. Low-E materials help to keep heat in during winter and out during summer without impeding light, meaning you can still enjoy lower heating and cooling costs without resorting to blinds or curtains when you really want to let the natural light shine through your home!
With the increased market value, energy efficiency and comfort that replacement windows can bring to a home, they are certainly a home improvement project that is worth your time and resources. But selecting the right replacement windows isn’t always easy. Acme Glass can send one of our friendly estimators to your home to measure and inspect your current windows, and make recommendations for replacement.