When the bitter cold of a Nebraska winter settles in for a bit, homeowners often start thinking about ways to keep their homes warm without running up their power bills.
Windows are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to heat loss in a home. Insulation is measured by R-value: the higher the value, the better the insulation is at preventing the flow of heat. The R-value of windows ranges from a 6 to a 9, whereas a wall can have an R-value two to three time as high.
When temperatures plummet, it’s not unusual to start thinking about whether you should replace your windows. However, replacing windows for the sole purpose of saving energy is difficult to justify when you consider the expense versus the savings (i.e., payback period).
But unless there is structural damage to your windows – where you can feel air coming through or water when it rains – replacing your windows can be a costly measure with a long payback period. It could take up to 20 years before you recover your investment and start actually saving money.
If your windows are in good condition but you’d like to improve your home’s energy efficiency, consider some of these suggestions from the U.S. Department of Energy and OPPD Energy Advisor Eric BenSalah:
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