Energy Efficient Windows

services-windows-300x200The windows in your home can have a strong influence on your energy consumption and comfort. Replacement windows, exterior storm windows, or interior window inserts can reduce your energy bill and increase your comfort by reducing both air leakage and heat loss. Because they can be relatively expensive, some options may be practical only in older homes or colder climates.

What you should know

To improve the energy performance of your windows, you can:

  • Replace your current windows
  • Add exterior storm windows
  • Add interior window inserts

Replacement windows are usually made from wood, vinyl, or fiberglass (or other composite). They use sealed, double- or triple-pane glass to resist heat flow, and are specially coated to block damaging ultra-violet (UV) radiation.

Storm windows are an option for historic homes. They allow original windows to remain intact while providing some air sealing and thermal qualities.

Interior inserts use a lightweight frame that holds a single sheet of rigid clear acrylic or plastic film. They are custom made to fit existing window frames, and preserve the historic quality of older homes while providing benefits similar to those provided by replacement windows, but at a lower cost.

Cost and lifetime value

Replacing your windows is a relatively major home renovation, so it can be quite expensive. But doing so can have non-energy benefits (see below) that might influence your decision. Storm windows are much less expensive, but are also less efficient than today’s well-manufactured replacements. Interior inserts are about as efficient as storm windows and are the most economical, but may not last as long.

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Benefits and Drawbacks

System Benefits Drawbacks
Wood Replacement
  • Medium-high durability
  • Good aesthetics
  • High maintenance
  • Cost
Vinyl Replacement
  • Medium-high durability
  • Low maintenance
  • Environmental concerns
  • Aesthetics
Composite Replacement
  • High durability
  • Low maintenance
  • Paintable
  • Cost

Interior Insert

  • Cost effective
  • Easy to install
  • Preserve historic quality of older homes
  • Medium-High durability
  • Less efficient than replacements
  • Annual installation/removal
Exterior Storm
  • Low cost
  • Preserve historic quality of older homes
  • Medium-Low durability
  • Aesthetics
  • Less efficient than replacementsGet Started

Thinking of starting a project? The first step is to schedule a phone consultation with an Enhabit Home Advisor to find opportunities to improve the efficiency, safety and health of your home.

Book a Free Phone Consult