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 Energy Savings

Author: Aryeh Goetz (

Are there any studies or estiamtes on how many years will the windows "pay for themselves" in energy savings? Say, in the Northeast or Mid Atlantic regions.


 Re: Energy Savings

Author: monty.q.public (

My pleasure. Let us use a software tool provided by the Department
of Energy. This tool can be found at
Let us look at New York City (with assumed energy costs, weather &
construction techniques). The software model for an assumed
(typical existing) house of 2000 square feet with generous
single pane windows with wood frames estimates the energy cost of
heating and air conditioning to be $1684 per year. When the old
windows are replaced with the best triple-pane insulated vinyl
windows, the estimated cost drops to $1361. The estimated energy
saving is $323 per year (about 19% of the total energy cost).

If there were 20 windows replaced at $500 each, the cost would be
$10000. The windows would "pay for themselves" in 31 years...
unless you are paying interest on borrowed money.

I have read (can't find reference) that home buyers typically are
willing to pay for 20 years of energy savings. So in selling your
house you could expect to recoup 2/3 of your windows investment.
Other real-estate studies are more favorable.

There are a lot of assumptions in the DOE software model. Those
assumptions may not apply to your case. It is safe to assume that
vinyl windows are not a great investment (much worse if you borrow
money). They are a good (energy cost) insurance policy. They make
your home more comfortable. They may eliminate one continuing
maintenance cost.

Independently: As much as 40% of your heating/cooling budget could
be passing through your windows. A premium replacement window could
reduce that 40% to 8%. A replacement window that reduces your
heating/cooling costs by 1/3 should make a dealer proud. It is
easier if your existing windows are in terrible condition.

Windows are glasses

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