We got new windows this winter and, boy, what a difference. Gone are the drafty old wood-sash and aluminum storm windows that we put up with since we bought our home 14 years ago. Stand next to a window now on the most frigid of days and. . . . nothing. You feel practically no cold coming through.
But will our investment pay for itself? In terms of comfort, definitely yes. Oh my gosh, yes. But in terms of cost? Well, probably not.
It’s going to be difficult to measure how much we’ll save in heating oil this winter because it’s already shaping up to be one of the coldest in a decade or more. That's going to make comparison with past years difficult.
But for argument’s sake, let’s just assume that the new windows save 20 percent in heating oil use in a winter—an optimistic assessment. We’re budgeting for a heating oil cost this winter of about $3,600. At 20 percent, that’s a $720 savings. Not bad.
But we bought top-of-the line windows and we have, . . . Gulp . . . 30 windows in our house! I hate to say it, but it’s going to take more than 30 years before those windows pay for themselves in heating oil savings.
Because the windows have a reflective coating that blocks the sun’s heat rays, we may save on air-conditioning costs, especially since more than a third of our windows face south and west. We’ll leave that calculation for another article.
So would we do it over again? You bet, for several reasons.