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Myths About Energy Efficient Windows

Saving energy. Easier to maintain. Lasting a lifetime. These are all the things replacement energy efficient windows are supposed to do for you. If you’re asking yourself if new windows are a good investment for your home, we’re here to tell you sure. But the question you should be asking yourself is if they’re the best investment. Replacement windows aren’t always the best for performance, and they certainly aren’t the cheapest option. There are a lot of window replacement myths out there about energy efficiency and benefits. We’re clearing some of them up here.

Couple in front of window: window energy efficiency myths debunked

1. Replacement windows help you save the most energy

According to ENERGY STAR, you can save an average of 12% a year on your energy bill by installing Energy Star windows. This changes depending on the windows you’re replacing and what kind of climate you live in.

According to the Department of Energy: “Storm windows will produce similar savings at a far lower initial cost. Some types of storm windows are also a good option for those living in apartments. Storm windows can help reduce air movement into and out of existing windows, helping to improve comfort and reduce heating and cooling costs.”

Indow window inserts, for example, save an average of 20% on energy bills annually. This combined with their lowered cost means a dramatically shorter ROI. That makes window inserts the most energy efficient window treatments.

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2. New windows are easier to maintain

Most new replacement windows boast an easy maintenance system. A sash pops out for easy cleaning. One of the benefits of replacement windows is no need for touch up paint on vinyl frames. Newer windows though, are complex with many moving parts, if any one of those parts breaks, the entire assembly could be compromised. Even if you can get a replacement part, the damage done in the meantime by nature could make it too late. How long do vinyl windows last? Only until the seal is broken.

Window inserts have no moving parts. If the seal is broken, you simply remove the insert and reinstall it.

Exterior of home with Indow inserts: How does the Indow warranty compare to replacement warranty?

3. Replacement windows last a lifetime

Lifetime warranty. That’s one of the huge replacement window benefits, right? But how long are window warranties? If you look closely at this warranty, it’s generally 20-25 years. And that’s usually for just the glass. Other parts of the assembly of the window could be warrantied for less. Lower quality replacement windows can come with warranties less than 10 years.

So, how long should vinyl windows last? Professionals agree 15 – 20 years for new, quality windows. That’s hardly a lifetime. It’s no surprise then that their warranties last exactly this long. A window’s warranty typically will not exceed its life expectancy. It used to be that homes, including windows, were passed down through generations. Now, it’s acceptable to call 20 years a lifetime. Since windows are not covered by home warranties, you want to make sure your window solution has a warranty that will give you peace of mind. Indow inserts come with a warranty that lasts as long as the purchaser remains in the home.

4. Replacement windows add resale value

Many new homebuyers are looking for green homes, those that will keep utility costs down and create a smaller carbon footprint. If your current windows are not energy efficient, it might be worthwhile to address the issue. But new windows won’t necessarily add value to your house. Window replacement projects often cost a couple thousand dollars more than the value that new windows add to your home. If you have a historic home, replacing the original windows will likely hurt the value.

Retrofitting windows with inserts will cut utility costs and shrink your carbon footprint while prolonging the life of the original windows and maintaining the curb appeal of your home. New windows will look out of place with the rest of the home design.

Man installing insert: Replacements better than window retrofits? It’s window replacement myth

5. Only New Technology of Replacement Windows Can Provide Better Energy Efficiency

Window inserts are the best energy efficient window treatments, despite the new technology available with replacement windows.

New replacement windows can seal gas between the two panes that further help with thermal insulation. The gas, usually argon, helps with heat gain and heat loss because it is less convective than air. However, the inserted gas does leak over time. Leaks can cause the windows to appear foggy. In most cases, the leak follows the same timeline as the window, remaining effective for 20 years. In some cases, the seal will break, releasing all the gas at once. With a window insert, you would just remove and reinstall to recreate the seal. Argon gas is non-toxic, nonflammable, and non-reactive. Another misconception about argon-filled windows is that the gas between the panes will help with noise reduction. This is not true. Windows with argon gas will help with energy efficiency, but they are not an appropriate solution for noise reduction.

Other replacement window benefits include Low-E coatings. Low-E coatings come in a variety of choices. They all can lower the solar heat-gain coefficient (a lower SHGC means less heat passes through the window). The benefits of replacement windows with Low-E coating are hard to argue with, but window inserts can provide the same thing. Indow Shade Grade has a SHGC of .49 (reducing solar heat-gain by 51%), 57.5% visible light transmittance, R-value listing of 1.96 and UV reduction of 90%.

Still Mystified?

There are so many myths about windows out there, we don’t blame you. The good news is, we’ve done a lot of research and can talk you through it. You probably don’t have to replace all your windows, maybe only some and add storm windows or inserts to others.

Whatever window issue you are facing, we’d love to help! Give us a call and we can talk about what the best option is for you.

Customer Reviews

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4.49 Average 1477 Reviews

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Matthew L

Indow inserts were easy to measure, order and install. They've provided great insulation for old single-pane and stained glass windows in an antique home. We can significantly feel how much better the home holds heat.

Posted 2 days ago

Ellis W

I ordered two Indow inserts for my home. They are doing a great job, entirely happy with them and the ordering process.

Posted 1 week ago

Elizabeth W

I can't say enough good things about this product and company. Our house is 101 years old and the sidelites next to our front door are single pane ancient wavy glass which means when it gets very cold (Chicago temps) we can have an inch of frost covering the INSIDE of our windows. I was desperately searching for a solution so our front vestibule was not so cold and a friend recommended Indow. The process could not have been simpler and the temperature difference it has made is off the charts.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Austin T

I have several historic single pane gridwork mullion windows. They're beautiful but have almost no thermal protection. Indows proved to be the perfect solution to preserve these windows while getting the thermal comfort we need. They were easy to install and work perfectly!

Posted 3 weeks ago

Kathryn M

Amazingly easy to install even the safety chain holders. I. Noticed an immediate sound level difference and the room atmosphere became more solid feeling and pleasant. They also gave an insulating feature to the window drafts are non existent! The house is 50ft off a State highway that is heavily traveled in warmer months I'm confident the indows will handle it. I'm very pleased!

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

We ordered the acoustic inserts to help with road noise, and we've been sleeping so much better with them!

Posted 1 month ago

Sienna K

We used the windows inserts in our skylight. They are great! They the horrible drafts and noise out and were cost efficient. My only comment would be to provide better measurement and installation instructions for skylights specifically. It took us a lot of guessing and research to measure and install because skylight directions were not provided and the windows install guide doesn't always apply to skylights. Other than that though great product and I would buy again!

Posted 1 month ago

ted t

Our home was built in the late 1800s and we have spent a lot of money over the last 20+years restoring it.We did not want to replace the windows with modern windows because of the cost and originality. But the single pane windows come with a price also. the main reason we purchased the Indow window inserts is because of the condensation on the inside of the windows.We would literally have a take a towel and wipe them down every morning in the winter. There would be a puddle on the sill,and wood and water dont get along to well. SO we looked into the best solution to our problem and found Indow. Was reluctant to spend that much money but am super glad we did!! They have been installed now for over two months and our condensation problem has been virtually eliminated.!!! AND our furnace does not run as much as it did before. Over all it was money well spent!! The process was a little scary at first but they have a simple formula. And our contact person,Reed was awesome. Answered any questions i had and was always available.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Used to block interior side of a garden window in the the kitchen. Without insert, cold air literally poured into the kitchen making a winter jacket almost mandatory when preparing meals or washing dishes

Posted 1 month ago

Rob S

Highly recommend! The team (Brian) took time to help me figure out the best solution. They were made and delivered faster than expected. It was very rewarding to install them because I could feel the cold air get squeezed out as they went flush against the single pane of glass. Solid quality and great fit.

Posted 1 month ago

Alexa L

My inserts fit beautifully into my 125 year old windows - many of which were 5 feet tall. Easy to unwrap and install. Great product and even better service! I liked the process of measuring the windows with a laser measuring tool which was easy to use and precise. The product came in good condition after shipping across country and was well marked. The customer support was excellent.

Posted 1 month ago

Sarah D

Received our Indow Windows and can tell they are blocking a lot of the noise we could hear. Right now the weather is mild, but hoping to notice a big difference when the summer heats up. Our house is in a historic district and we cannot change our windows. They are very drafty and thin glass. We only ordered two, but we are in the process of ordering for four more. Love that we don’t need to drill holes or anything and they just pop right in.

Posted 1 month ago

Allan F

Every thing arrived in perfect condition, thanks to the very secure packaging. Windows fit as expected, although quite tight. After installation we noticed that the cold drafts were gone and the room felt a lot warmer. We are very satisfied with the product and the result.

Posted 1 month ago

Adriana W

Great customer service! Super satisfied with our windows.

Posted 1 month ago

Thomas M

Indow service and product is good. Reduced outside noise considerably.

Posted 2 months ago