No matter what home improvement project you take on, it’s going to cost you money. But some projects offer a better return on investment than others in terms of increased home value. What you get back is termed a return on investment, or ROI. If that’s a priority for you with your home remodeling budget, one of the smartest improvements you can make is to replace your old windows. Experts estimate that when you choose quality, energy-efficient windows such as those from Andersen, Pella, Jen-Weld, or Marvin, you can expect an 80-90% return. And when you factor in energy savings and reduced maintenance cost, those windows can actually pay for themselves in less than 10 years.
Today’s well-engineered windows offer better insulating value than older windows, but your savings will depend on what options you choose, such as double- or triple-panes, gas filling, Low-E coatings, etc. And when you choose a window with a low-maintenance or maintenance-free exterior such as a vinyl, fiberglass, or clad wood, you’re cutting down costs for recaulking, staining, or painting.
To boost your investment, consider some of these energy-efficient options:
- Look for a window that’s EnergyStar rated. That’s your guarantee that it has been independently tested and certified as energy-efficient.
- Choose double or triple pane glass. Older windows were made of one pane of glass; that’s why storm windows were needed to reduce the winter chill. Today’s windows with double or triple panes of glass trap air between the glass sheets, which acts as an insulator. Window experts recommend that you select triple pane windows as an excellent insulating choice for Minnesota’s harsh winters.
- Gas filling increases the insulating value. Gases such as argon, krypton, and others are placed between the glass panes to further cut down on heat transference. These gases provide better insulation than plain air.
- Low-E coatings keep the outside weather where it belongs. Low-E means “low emissivity,” indicating that the window glass has a low rate of heat transference. These coatings absorb or reflect heat on both sides of the glass, keeping the warm air out in the summer and keeping it inside where it belongs in the winter. Some Low-E coatings also have UV filters, which harmful sun rays which can fade carpeting, upholstery, and wood.
If you have questions about which energy-efficient windows might be right for your home, please give us a call. We provide free estimates for replacement windows and other home improvement projects such as roofing, siding, and kitchen remodeling.