How to Convert Your Old Windows to Energy Efficient Ones

How to Convert Your Old Windows to Energy Efficient Ones

How to Convert Your Old Windows to Energy Efficient Ones

Upgrading your home’s windows to energy efficient models can help reduce your energy bills and make your house more comfortable. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to convert old windows to new energy efficient ones.

Assess Your Existing Windows

Before replacing your windows, take time to assess your existing ones to determine if you really need new ones or if some repairs and upgrades could suffice.

  • Check for drafts – Feel around the windows for any cold air leaks, gaps, or cracks that allow air to pass through. Drafts indicate your windows need sealing at a minimum.

  • Test for cloudiness – Examine the panes for any fogginess or cloudy areas which indicate failed seals. Cloudy windows need full replacing.

  • Evaluate the frames – Inspect window frames for signs of rot, cracks, or decay which can compromise insulation. Damaged frames likely need replacing.

  • Consider age – Windows older than 20 years often have very poor energy efficiency so could benefit from replacing.

This assessment helps determine whether you need minor upgrades like caulking and weatherstripping or full window replacements.

Choose New Energy Efficient Windows

When selecting new replacement windows, energy efficiency should be your top priority. Look for the following key features:

Multiple Panes

  • Double or triple pane glass with insulated gas fillings like argon or krypton provide better insulation than single panes.

  • More panes create thicker air spaces between glass that insulate better.

  • Triple pane models provide the best insulation.

Insulated Frames

  • Vinyl, composite, or fiberglass window frames prevent heat transfer much better than metal or wood frames.

  • Look for frames with thermal breaks – insulated barriers between interior and exterior frame surfaces.

Low-Emissivity Coatings

  • Low-E coatings on glass reflect heat back into a room and reduce UV damage to interiors.

  • This Low-E coating improves energy efficiency significantly.

Warm Edge Spacers

  • Insulated spacers between multiple panes prevent heat transfer at the edges.

  • Look for warm edge spacers made of foam, stainless steel, or fiberglass for best efficiency.

Hire Professional Installers

Proper installation is crucial for energy efficient windows to function as designed. Hire professional installers to:

  • Remove old windows and dispose of them properly.
  • Seal air gaps and insulate window openings.
  • Install new windows level and plumb for proper operation.
  • Seal around new windows thoroughly to prevent air leaks.
  • Provide any necessary repairs and adjustments.

An experienced installation company with expertise in energy efficient windows can handle the process seamlessly.

Consider Energy Tax Credits

When installing energy efficient windows, research eligibility for these tax credits that can help offset costs:

  • Federal tax credits – You can qualify for tax credits of 10-15% of the window installation cost. Windows must have NFRC ratings.

  • State incentives – Many states offer additional tax credits and rebates for installing ENERGY STAR certified windows.

  • Utility company rebates – Check with your local utility company for any rebates or incentives they offer for upgrading to energy efficient windows.

Every incentive helps improve the return on investment, so take advantage of them.

Upgrading old inefficient windows to new energy efficient models requires careful planning and execution. But the long term savings on your energy bills make the investment worthwhile. Use this guide to plan a successful window conversion project.