Windows are an integral part of your home – they protect your family from the elements while allowing in sunlight and offering a view of the outdoors. And just about any type of window will perform those functions. But beyond the basic protection, windows provide many more important benefits. Energy efficiency, preventing drafts, more comfort, better functionality, improved aesthetics, and insulating from noise are all benefits that can vary from window to window.

broken_window-repair4One of the biggest factors in a window’s performance is its age. Older windows just cannot protect your home the way new windows can. New windows include the latest advancements in design and manufacturing processes that make them much more energy efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, inefficient windows can account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill.

Older windows are often made of wood, which can rot over time, as well as have frame deterioration that could allow drafts and rainwater to enter your home or walls. Broken or cracked glass as well as leaky seals can let in air and moisture. Leaky seals in double pane windows can also cause moisture build up between the panes, leading to clouding or fogging.

Vinyl_WindowsFor many homeowners, the prospect of undertaking window replacement can be daunting. There are a few fixes you can try for a short term solution to window problems. Window repair options including replacing broken or missing glass and repairing or replacing rotted wood portions. You can also install a window insulation kit, sold at many home improvement stores. Caulk can be a homeowner’s best friend to seal leaky exterior window frames.

Installing storm windows can improve the efficiency of single pane windows.But while these window repairs may temporarily lessen or solve your problem, your windows will not protect your home efficiently until you replace them. And although upfront costs are higher when you replace vs. repair, you will begin to see immediate savings in the form of lower utility bills.

New windows will do a better job at keeping the inside temperature cozy, causing less strain on your heating system since it’s not working overtime. New windows are also easier to operate, including many models with a tilt-in sash to make washing the exterior glass much easier. Replacement windows will be much better at blocking outside noise. New windows will improve the look of your home, both inside and out. And great curb appeal is a big plus when it comes time to sell your home.

Source: http://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-saver