Monday, May 18, 2009

Debunking the window-replacement myth

This weekend's Washington Post had an article saying what we keep saying: there are much more cost-effective (not to mention historically appropriate) ways to increase your house's energy efficiency than wood window replacement. Our colleague Erin Tobin, a Rochester native who now covers eastern New York State and New York City as a regional director of technical and grant programs for the Preservation League of New York State, had this comment on the article:

At least this article debunks the myth that replacing windows will save lots of money in energy bills, although it does repeat the falsehood that replacement windows will last for "decades" (how about "decade" if you're lucky). I'm glad to see the quotes from some of the energy auditors, but who is talking to the federal Energy Star people? Not even a mention of storm windows? And nothing about screens and summertime efficiency (aka fresh air).
The point Erin makes about the short lifespan of replacement windows is one I make in my own talks on sustainability, and I like to cite Donovan Rypkema, a historic preservation expert who says: "Regardless of the manufacturers’ 'lifetime warranties', thirty percent of the windows being replaced each year are less than 10 years old." Throwing out vinyl windows after less than 10 years doesn't sound all that "green," does it?

Posted by Katie Eggers Comeau, Director of Preservation Services



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44 comments:

Window & Door Replacement said...

This post is very useful. Although the myth exist but still people just have their windows fixed when it's already an eye sore or giving them a lot of cleaning troubles. I agree that not all window replacement service can give you the satisfaction you can get. Thus, it is very important to be vocal enough of what kind of service you need and make a wise choice of window replacement company.

Katie said...

The previous comment has some valid points. I think it greatly depends on choosing the company that specializes in replacement windows. LA has great firms that do that, and I've had a wonderful experience with one of them. My Los Angeles replacement windows are over seven years old now, and they haven't shown any sign that I'm gonna need new ones soon. I think it's in the way I maintain it.

Mac said...

If you have a difficult time figuring out that your windows need replacing, also take into account the considerable benefits to be achieved by doing this. One of the greatest benefits is the fact that the resale value of your house is significantly enhanced by installing new, energy efficient windows.












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Gulf Coast said...

I think you did an awesome job explaining it. Sure beats having to research it on my own. Thanks

Giana Forzareli said...

This post was immensly informative. There is much discussion of which type of window to install. Summer is here, which means you have somewhat of a litmus test when checking energy efficiency in your windows. Last year I saw a increase in my energy bill. I told my children to turn their lights off and to stop leaving the front door open. Then I talked to a friend that made me realize I may have to start looking for new windows in my building. I needed the satisfaction of professionalism and experience. I stumbled upon Adler Windows, a window replacement company that offers amazing work. My windows look great and I cant wait till end of the summer to see my energy bills decrease.

Are other window replacement companies aware of this myth?

Tamara Black said...

never mind the myths just enjoy the new look after Window Replacement Houston TX done in your old or new house. This helps prevent thinking about the myths.

Jackie Champion said...

Hi there! Thank you so much for sharing this information. You have such an awesome page. This could help me out with my business. I'll be looking forward for your other posts as well. Keep it up! In addition, Replacement windows are available in several materials including wood, fiberglass, aluminum-clad wood, vinyl-clad wood, vinyl, glass blocks and other composite materials. The most common materials for new windows are PVC-u and wood.If you’ve ever sat inside your home and noticed your windows have condensation built-up on them – it might be time to consider purchasing replacement windows to save on your heating and cooling costs. Replacement Windows Massachusetts

Kate Dunkin said...

Great post! I was online looking for landmark windows when I came across your blog. I'm so happy I did because this was very informative. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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Ethan Martin said...

Are the replacement windows in Boston's local stores cheaper than places like Walmart?

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Hey! Keep it up! I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about replacement window in your area. I'm glad to stop by your site and know more about replacement window. This is a good read.
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wrightrichard007 said...

Thanks for this article. Its a little disappointing to think of the things officials will say to get the American People to spend more money on window replacement, and in Washington DC! http://www.pellabaltimore-dc.com/FortheHomeowner/Windows.aspx

windows pittsburgh said...

i love your post, its kinda interesting at the same time i have gained a lot of information today..its very helpful

Terrence Flendersen said...

Who do you know that will do this type of window replacement in the san jose area? My mom needs to get one fixed..

Roger said...

Every 25-30 yrs every likes to change the doors and windows for better appearance,before installing these they search which company is better and durable of products.

siding pittsburgh said...

The article is very informative and very useful..its better to know everything rather than jumping into a decision right a way..

Kaieza Damien said...

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Lauren jonczak said...

Great post. I have never heard of the window replacement myth. I just bought a house and I need to replace all the windows, they are so old and some are even painted shut. I can't wait to see the finishing project. Thanks for sharing.

Layne Adams said...

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ruzzel01 said...

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Hilary Kimbel said...

Thanks for the great information! I was looking into replacement windows in Melrose... Do you happen to know anything about that?

Dustin J. Langlais said...

This weekend i am also think about to change my old window and for this i needs the window installer but the selection of best installer in not an easy task and i believe to the little rock roofing company because they are best and take reasonable charges for their works....

Li Ayers said...

I think the question of whether replacement windows will or will not save money is beside the point. The point of the matter is still preference, and if a person veers to a method that is convenient, that serves the task well, and does it and leave, then that is that. Personal aesthetic and sensibilities are factors in determining which direction our media should head.

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Kat Brennan said...

I agree with what kind of windows you have. I have been wondering lately if it's time for window replacement in my living room windows. I've lived in the house for 10 years and haven't touched them since I moved in. After reading this article, I still think that they should be replaced especially since it's been so long.

Samantha Gomes said...

Thank you so much for sharing this--I was just thinking how I need to clean the shower!
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Dexter jazz said...

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Jason Knight said...

I just want to get newer windows for my home because I have 2 windows that are cracked. I want to get slightly more durable windows this next time. I don't mind if it costs a little bit more for the extra quality.

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Tzeitel Thompson said...

Would you say that there is a good time to replace windows? I have had my windows for a couple of years, and they are starting to get pretty cloudy. No matter what cleaning solution I use, it never really seems to work. I'm thinking replacing them just might be my answer.
Tzeitel | http://www.faswd.com/windows/tampa-replacement-windows.html

Bob Strong said...

While it might now save a ton of money, a good deal will be saved. Window repair not only seals your home, but would insure better vulnerability from the elements. A worn or cracked window would break much sooner. http://www.griggsglassandmirror.com/Glass_Installations_Services_Forest_Hill_MD.html

Hickory Poscery said...

I want to replace my windows in my house. Who should I call for help with this? I don't know what material I want. http://www.tvsidingandwindows.com/boise-windows

Window Man said...

Katie, you comment is the most valid. Windows can also be inspected with athermographic home inspection.

Avelin Wright said...

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Alex said...

vinyl replacement windows windows are right for my home because they are affordable, easy to maintain, greatly cut down on the cost of energy, and are easy to customize.

Dave Thompson said...

That is very interesting that replacing windows might not save you that much money. I do agree that a newer window will last a lot longer than older windows will. I'll keep that in mind next time I need to have my windows replaced. http://www.newjerseywindow.com/morrisplains.php

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