There are many reasons to replace a window in your home, but the most practical reason to change a window is lack of energy efficiency. If you have a drafty window, it’s time to change that window because drafts are one of the biggest drains on the energy efficiency of your home. Those drafts increase your heating and cooling bills. When you add up these energy costs and the amount of money you could save throughout the year, many times the cost of the new window is less than a year of the cost of the heating and cooling bills.
If you are a home owner and are considering whether or not you should replace a window or windows, a simple audit help you decide the energy efficiency level of your windows. You can check for drafts by simply holding a lit candle around the edge of the window. If the candle flame flickers, there is a draft.
Even if your windows are not letting in drafts, it is possible to conserve energy with the new windows that are available today. There are windows that are made of materials such as the low-E glass that allows energy consumption to be reduced by preventing the loss of heat from the home. These new windows prevent heat from escaping from the home and this reduces heating and fuel costs.
Maintenance is another reason to replace windows. If the window is an older window, it requires more maintenance such as scraping, calking and painting. Many new windows are designed to require less maintenance and have convenient features that allows you to tilt the window to make it easier to clean and possible to do the cleaning from the inside of your house.
Functionality is another good reason to replace a window. If you have a window that gets “stuck” and is hard to open, it is not functional any longer. It is also a safety hazard.
If you would like to increase the value of your home in the real estate market, installing new windows will add a higher value to your home in the real estate market. The installation of new windows can increase the real estate value of your home. The windows of a home and their aesthetics make a first impression on a buyer.
There are many styles of windows you can get for your home. This will give you an idea of which style of window you might want to look at if you want to purchase replacements or you are buying a new home.
First is the casement window. This window is very easy to clean because it opens like a door and can swing in or out. This makes it really easy to clean the inside and the outside of the window without leaving the comfort of your home. These windows are very popular for newer built homes and they are one of the best picks for replacement windows. These windows are also effortless to open and close.
Second are the awning windows. These windows are typically an over a kitchen sink window and a basement window. They normally come with a crank and open from bottom to top. This is so they can protect your home from wind and rain but still let air in your home. These windows are normally found in school buildings and are becoming very popular for the hard to reach window spaces in your home.
The third type of window is the double-hung window. These windows are energy efficient and add extra insulation to your home. This means it will help the cost of your heating and cooling bills to drop in price. These windows are designed with an upper and lower frame and slide on separate tracks vertically. These windows normally last 20-25 years and normally come with a 10-year warranty.
The fourth type of window is the single-hung. These have a fixed upper window, which means it doesn’t move, and the lower portion goes up and down. This tends to make them a little more difficult for cleaning. These are one of the oldest styles of windows and are still energy efficient.
The fifth type is the sliding window. This type of window normally slides on one side only with the other side being fixed. This window has little obstruction and offers a great view with lots of light.
The sixth type is the bay/bow window. This style of window comes with three or more panes and either goes flat against your house, which is the bay style, or it can bow out from the home. They offer a very decorative look to your home as well as offer lots of sunlight and view. Believe it or not even for such a big window they too are energy efficient.
The seventh style is specialty window. These windows can be made however you want them. They are special order and can be made to match your personality. They do make them energy efficient and can come in just about any shape or size. The only down fall is they are on the pricey end of the window list because they are to your specifications.
Getting a tax credit for replacing your windows is a great incentive to make improvements on your home while increasing energy efficiency and lowering energy costs. The qualifications are pretty basic and the forms are easy to file. There are, however, a few limits and general rules you should understand when considering this program.
There are certain criteria you must meet in order to receive this credit. First, the windows must be Energy Star approved and installed in an existing home and it must be your primary residence. No apartment rentals or new homes under construction will qualify. If you are away from the home for a period of time under special circumstances, such as in the case you happen to be ill and in the hospital or in the military, away for schooling or business and not living in your primary home at the time, even for an extended period, you can still qualify.
Most construction methods or style of homes will qualify, such as mobile homes, prefabricated or manufactured homes, cooperative apartments, condominiums or even house boats.
If you have a windowless addition in your home or just need to add another window to your home where there wasn't one before, this qualifies as long as it is your primary residence. Sky lights also qualify, as long as they are Energy Star approved.
For those that qualify, a credit of 10% of the cost of the windows with a cap of $200 per window is given. Please note that this credit is not applied to labor or installation costs. Be sure to save your receipts from the manufacturer with the certification statement of the windows being Energy Star approved.
If you've been thinking about new windows, why not consider taking advantage of the tax 2011 credit for your window replacement projects? Just be sure to ask the retailer or manufacturer if the windows you are seeking are Energy Star approved. They will certainly know as this is a huge selling point an a popular program. Be sure to keep your receipts and any paperwork that comes with your windows.