Repairing or replacing your windows when they need it is important for maintaining the structural integrity, aesthetics, and energy efficiency of your home. That said, let’s get honest about the top 4 myths of professional window installation.
While it may be true that dual pane windows themselves are a relatively new development, their concept has been around for a long time. As far back as the 1800s, it was understood that homeowners could increase their thermal efficiency by adding a second pane of glass to their windows. At that time, the solution was to install a “storm window” over the existing single pane windows during winter. These two layered single pane windows effectively simulated a modern dual pane window. In some ways this setup was more efficient than today’s true dual panes as the layered windows trapped a larger pocket of insulative air space between them.
Yes, old windows are inefficient. Yes, replacing old windows will help cut your heating and air conditioning costs. However, if your intention is to address the primary source of heat loss in your house, you should be looking up not out.
Heat rises, so during cold weather more heat escapes through your ceiling than your windows. Experts estimate that you can save up to 80% on heating costs by insulating a previously uninsulated ceiling or roof. That’s a far higher return on investment than you should expect to see on window replacements.
If you are lucky enough to have a home with wood windows, then the value lies in the CRAFTSMANSHIP of your original product. Historic wood windows were custom built for each home and that is hard to replicate with commercial products.
It may be more expensive upfront to find a professional to repair your wood windows, however, the repairs are often guaranteed for a whopping 75 years rather than the standard 15-year life of new vinyl windows. Before you commit to trading your wood windows for another type of window, why not learn more about your repair options?
With all the talk about how things were better in “the good old days,” it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that older buildings aren’t energy efficient. After all, back then energy prices were low and homeowners weren’t yet concerned with efficiency, right? As it turns out, when the U.S. government did an energy efficiency survey of their buildings, they found that those built between 1880 and 1930 were actually more energy efficient than any built in the rest of the 20th century.
What does this mean for you? If you have a historic home with original windows, it may already be more energy efficient than your co-worker’s mid-50s ranch style house.