Do New Windows Save Energy? Do They Pay for Themselves?

My blood pressure goes up every time I hear one of those ads about saving money in energy costs with new windows. Don't get me wrong, I am an "energy bozo" and have invested in all sorts of energy saving devices including very good windows. I wish all homes were equipped with energy efficient windows. But the very idea that new windows will save you money is a vast oversimplification.

It is possible that window replacement in a home with very leaky single pane windows will result in a net saving. That the lower energy bills will pay for the new windows in a short time. But in most cases, the energy saving benefits from replacement windows are modest and need to be justified for other reasons. For example, your old windows may not operate properly or they don't allow for good summer cooling. New windows might even make it easier to sell your home - but even here I doubt if they "pay for themselves".

Consumer News