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

Window Energy Efficiency Myths

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 1493 Reviews

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JD

Brian was very helpful & informative. He helped me order the correct windows for my needs. They were shipped with the utmost of care & arrived ahead of schedule. Ultimately, the Indow Windows have been very helpful in muffling unwanted noises & they have helped save on our energy costs. Thank you, Indow Window!

Posted 1 week ago

Cynthia M

Very happy with the reduction in noise. Easy to install and use. Great customer service.

Posted 1 month ago

Juli E

We are thrilled with our Indow window inserts! I'd been on the lookout for a more permanent solution to leaky windows in our third floor living space. I discovered Indow on social media but since then have learned of friends who'd had Indow recommended to them by their rennovation contractor. The entire process went smoothly with friendly reps at hand to talk through questions during measuring, etc. They fit perfectly and help us to maintain the beautiful design of the windows on our 100 year old home! Highly recommend!!

Posted 2 months ago

Jen F

Worth the money!

Posted 2 months ago

Elizabeth H

For townhouse living, this solved my problem with noise from my neighbor's with my kitchen window. A considerable decrease of noise indeed! Measurements were a bit frustrating so I recommend using a laser measurement device and following directions to use a string for the diagonal. They look great and were easy to push into place. I highly recommend as an alternative to buying a new window.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Easy to install, and instantly stopped drafts and dampened outside noises very effectively!

Posted 3 months ago

Robert C

The process could've been smoother with the sending of the measuring kit. There was a delay with weather in Oregon but then it felt like my kit was still delayed due to other reasons. Most new homes (like mine) have textured paint and it can also be inside your window frames. I measured everything out but I still have little tiny gaps due to the texturing. Not indows problem but just be aware you made need to sand or fill in those gaps yourself to get a perfect seal. I did the acoustic grade inserts and they have reduced some noise but they will not completely block or significantly reduce road noise. This is most apparent with deep or lower frequencies like truck exhausts or modified street racing cars that are quite popular these days. Taking the inserts out to open your windows isn't an easy task. The little metal hook they provide needs to be either bigger or you can attach something to it as a way to leverage yourself. Overall the process was average. I think they're definitely a good option for weatherproofing and some sound reduction depending on the type of windows you have. I would purchase again.

Posted 3 months ago

Shelley C

The process for ordering and installing the Indow Widnow inserts was so easy. They sent the measuring information and it had great instructions. The inserts were delivered by UPS was crushed on one corner, but the company had packed them well, so there was no damage. We installed them the same day. It works best if you have two people completing the installation. We felt the results immediately and are glad we spent the money to make our home just a little more efficient.

Posted 3 months ago

Barry B

The insert fits like a glove and insulates the window! No more frost and condensation on the interior of the window! Thank you for an easy, effective and attractive fix!

Posted 3 months ago

Susan A

The support during the entire process was wonderful, thank you so much for the extra quiet space!

Posted 3 months ago

Volodymyr R

Very good good quality. Overall very satisfied with this product and service. Thanks

Posted 3 months ago

Jane H

Our home was built in 1913 and has beautiful old wavy glass single-paned windows. I’m so glad we were told about Indows and didn’t have to replace the original windows. We live in Canada but had no difficulty placing the order and were very impressed by how accurately the company met its deadlines, including cross border delivery. The Indows inserts blend in perfectly with our home and the existing window frames. You don’t see them unless you’re actually looking for them. But what we did notice was how much warmer the rooms feel the minute the inserts were installed! I can’t speak to any heating bill savings because they just went in this week, but our home feels much, much cozier. Our contractor who took all the measurements and installed the Indows says: “Excellent instructional videos: clear and informative. Very impressed with the design and the product. Overall, the ease of installation is quite impressive. Working with all the staff at the company was great – everyone was very helpful.” I’m already recommending this company to any of my friends who live in drafty older homes and want to reduce their heating/cooling bills and do some good for the environment.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Don't be afraid of buying an older home with single pane windows. This company has you covered. Their inserts are super high quality and fit well thanks to the laser measuring kit they send. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Katie M

We purchased three Indows to reduce drafts and noise in our bedroom, which faces the street. The improvement was immediate. Our house was built in 1958 and although we have exterior storm windows we didn't want to replace the windows outright due to cost and architectural consistency. These were an excellent solution.

Posted 3 months ago

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 4 months ago