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P.S regarding the holes in the windows, are those what they call, Weeping Holes? or Weep holes.
Jeff, as far as payback. First off Pella offers all sorts of upgrades to older windows. you need to do some research on them. new gaskets, and control arms make a great difference in the product performance. The primary reason why it takes so long for payback, is not only the cost of the window and instal price, but that very little heat loss is going out of them in the first place. It is
The window guys know that you will Feel a difference and in the eye of the consumer that makes them think they are saving money. This is why no one has ever called them out on this. If you followed your energy bill based upon degree days carefully enough, you will find that you will see little to no change in your energy usage. In fact if you carefully caulk and replaced gaskets and control arms which translate to about 1-15th of the cost of the new window, you will get a bigger payback then just a new window alone.
So check with the Pella window company, if your frames are in good shape and not decayed with rot they can be improved without going through all the effort of installing new.
Oh and if I knew your real name I wouldn't call you WET. :^D