Does it make sense to replace single pane windows in your Texas home? I read a column written by Williamson County Association of REALTORs President J. Rene Ward which suggested that this was not typically cost effective, and I set about doing my own research.
Sure, most of us would love to live in a home with Low-U (well insulated), Low solar heat gain coefficient (sun doesn’t radiate through), High-R, Low-E, double pane windows. You may have read that an average home loses 25% -50% of it’s energy through the windows, and reason that this is a good place to start saving energy.
The ENERGY STAR site explains that here in Texas, the “average” home may save $273 in utility bills by replacing single pane windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows. So based on payback of window replacement looking at energy savings alone would imply it may take decades to recoup your expenditure.
My thoughts are that if you are considering upgrading your windows, you might not live in an “average” home, and there may be far more cost effective ways to reduce energy loss that could be identified with an inexpensive energy audit.
Assuming that you have all the gaping holes plugged, and you’re looking at window upgrades, does it make sense from a financial perspective to upgrade your windows?
- If you install an ENERGY STAR qualifying window in 2010, you could be eligible for a $1500 tax credit.
- Your energy bills could go down an average of $273 / year
- The resale value of your home improves by around 75% of the cost of the window replacement project
So, if you’re getting up to a 30% tax credit to perform the project in 2010, recouping 75% on resale, and saving money each year, you may want to consider changing out those windows if you have the funds.
Just as in the loose financial model for increased home value after adding solar panels replacing windows can be beneficial if you take all the elements into account.
Alternatively, you could focus on shading the windows, window films and storm windows on a budget.
Garreth Wilcock is an Austin EcoBroker® with Keller Williams Realty.
Specializing in: New Green Homes in Austin.