Replace Single-Pane Windows

Replacing single-pane windows with energy efficient double-pane windows can reduce heating and cooling bills by up to 20% or more.  It will also make your home more comfortable - more warm and cozy in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Medium
Households: 1 completed, 2 committed
2150
Points ?
$100
Annual Savings
$500 - $5,000
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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228
kWh Electricity
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101
Therms Natural Gas
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0
Gallons Gas
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0
Gallons Water
  • Save energy and money
  • Make your home more comfortable
  • Reduce maintenance costs and increase the value of your home
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

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Overview

The Action
We will replace single plane windows or any old double pane windows in need of replacement with new efficient double pane windows.
Is this action for me?
If you own your home, this action is for you.
When and Who?
This action can be done any time.  It is generally recommended to have professionals do the install.
How long will it take?
Medium - time to find a licensed contractor, choose your new windows and coordinate the installation.
What is the cost?
From $500-600 and up per window.

Benefits

  • Save energy and money

  • Make your home more comfortable

  • Reduce maintenance costs and increase the value of your home

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

Resources

Rebate/Credit

ThermWise program rebates for window upgrades.

Programs

Free weatherization services to homeowners who meet income eligibility requirements.

Information

Learn more about energy efficient windows

The Basics

Winter warmth escapes quickly through single-pane windows, and on hot days they lose cool air as well. Installing new, double-pane windows can save energy and money and make your home more light and comfortable.

Checklist

Identify windows that need replacement
Select the right windows
Install your new windows

Benefits of energy efficient double-pane windows

New, double-pane windows can be high-tech!  In addition to the extra pane of glass, transparent, high-tech glazes reduce the heating effect of direct sun and filter damaging ultraviolet rays.  They also reduce the need for curtains, improving views and light. In many double-pane windows, sealed air (or non-toxic gases such as argon or krypton) in the space between panes improves insulation. This reduces sound and makes windows more durable and impact resistant.  

Installing new energy efficient double-pane windows can significantly improve the comfort of your home and reduce energy bills.  Because this is an important energy efficiency action there are rebates and tax incentives available to help lower the cost.  However, even with rebates, it can take 10 years or more to cover the upfront costs through energy savings. Financing can help spread out the cost over time, making the action more affordable.  Before moving forward with a window replacement be sure to check the payback time for your home and check the resources section for information on rebates and financing options.

Repair or replace?

The first step is to identify which windows should be replaced.  With the advances in double-pane window design, it almost always makes sense to replace single-pane windows.  In addition, older double-pane windows that are not working properly or drafty are also candidates for replacement.  Carefully inspect your home, checking windows for drafts or signs of damage.  

Windows that are not working properly often allow moisture to gather where cool air meets warm glass.  This can cause damage from rot and mold.  Look for signs of mold or rot around window frames.  If you are not sure if a window should be repaired or replaced, ask for input from a licensed contractor or home inspector.  Making sure your windows are in good condition not only saves energy, it can also improve your health by reducing exposure to mold.  Replacing windows installed in the 1970s or earlier also reduces potential lead exposure from flaking paint.

Choose the right windows

When choosing your new windows, one of the most important factors is to match the windows to your climate.  Believe it or not, there are actually different designs for different climates!  So choosing windows is not so simple.  Frames make a difference too, and choosing the right material for your home and your budget will add to your new windows’ value.  Vinyl framing is the most cost effective and energy efficient choice, it is also low-maintenance and durable.  

Wood framing is beautiful, but more expensive and requires more maintenance.  Aluminum is the lowest cost option, but much less energy efficient.  The newest option, fiberglass, is durable, low maintenance and more energy efficient than vinyl.  Fiberglass windows generally cost more than vinyl, but less than wood.  Check with your contractor or installation company to help you choose which windows are right for your home.  

Another tip - price does not always indicate performance.  Some of the most energy efficient and effective windows are in the lower end of the price range.  Be careful not to overspend on fancy options that will not improve performance.  Similar to window selection, installation is best done by a professional to ensure the best energy efficiency and performance.  

Improve existing window performance

If replacing old windows is not in your budget, consider other ways to improve window efficiency.  Filling cracks and gaps around windows with caulking or weatherstripping can help save energy and money.  Using curtains, blinds, awnings, or other sources of shade (such as a tree!) can also help.