New windows versus heating bill?


Should I spend money on new windows or just cover with plastic each year? The time to cover window with plastic or new windows...does the expense of new windows make it sensible to save on fuel cost? How many years before I actually save on fuel to add up to my new windows?

  10 answers
  • Good question. We used to live in a house built in 1930 with the original windows. We learned that if the window are properly maintained, they can be just as efficient as newer windows. Nicole Curtis has a lot to say on this. We reglazed every window in the house along with the wooden storm windows. The other issue is the lack of insulation in the walls of older houses. Replacing the windows will not help that issue. Hope that helps.

  • Dfm Dfm on Oct 11, 2018

    Cover with plastic, make sure the windows are glazed, lock the windows. There are guides out on the internet as to weather sealing a house so your hot air stays inside. It involves caulking certain areas, new windows are thousands, shrink wrap is dollars. There are government sponsored projects to help winterize houses, if you are of a certain income. They come in and apply the products..caulking arround dryer vents, water pipes electric etc.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Oct 11, 2018

    I would get new windows. That is a lot of time being spent on putting plastic on the windows every year....time you probably don't have. Then on top of it, you have to deal with plastic inside the house all winter long which is probably an eyesore to you. I get claustrophobic when just my shades are drawn. I don't know how much it would save you in terms of fuel costs to get new windows. Does putting plastic on the windows help that much that you know of? Also, there may be a lot of other ways that you can save on power bills. Turning lights off that are unnecessarily left on, extra added attic insulation, special power strips that don't draw energy from the TV components that are actually powered off, newer LED canister lights can save a ton on energy. The majority of power costs come from heating your home though so if you have another heat source ie: woodburning stove....definitely use it. Also, try to keep the thermostat a little lower in the winter. We keep our house at 65 degrees all winter long. Yikes, my husband and I wear more clothes around the house but my kids don't mind at all. It definitely helps though on power costs. The other big thing......GET YOUR HVAC serviced regularly. See what issues you might be having. Slow leaks in heat pumps(which are common) tend to skyrocket our power bill. Good luck!

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Oct 11, 2018

    If you plan to sell the house anytime, you will need to replace the windows anyways. I'd do it now so you can enjoy the benefits. I can't imagine covering windows with plastic, but I don't live anywhere that cold.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Oct 11, 2018

    The short answer to your question is: Maybe! You need to gather some information to answer this for yourself. How much do you usually spend on your fuel bills in the winter? How much do windows cost in your area? Are the windows in good condition or do they really need replacement because they are outdated and don't seal properly? Does the plastic covering make it difficult for you to see outside or block some natural light? (This can actually cause SAD, a psychological problem for many people in the winter). Is there a specific side or area in your house that's always cold in the winter? How long do you intend to live in your home to make the investment pay off? Line up the answers and see the positives and the negatives to make your decision.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 11, 2018

    We are in process of changing single pane to double. We tried storm windows in one room and you could still feel the heat and cold coming through and they sweat in between the two windows.

    We also tried plastic over the windows and it's okay but you can still feel the cold.

    After researching, we found windows (54 high x 32 wide) for $80 each at a wholesale location.

    It would depend on the shape of your existing windows on how long it takes to recoup your expense. After replacing all the other windows in our house (last 3 now) I can't advise on the money aspect but I will say it's amazing how much more comfortable the rooms are with the new windows.

  • Laura Rogers Laura Rogers on Oct 11, 2018

    Depending on your location there are govt. rebates that are worth looking into. On that note replacing your windows with minimum double pane is certainly worth it, plus it increases the value of your home.

    Hope this helps.

  • My vote is for new windows, it makes a huge difference in your heating and cooling costs. But, Windows are expensive. Shop carefully. I am replacing the windows in my house, will take 4 years, I am on year 2, with 2 more to go. I already brought the attic insulation up to current code, installed attic fans, installed a new roof, new hvac system (that alone started saving me money), and last is windows. I have the opposite problem, blazing hot here for months on end. Adds value to your home and a selling feature should you decide to move. Explore all rebates be it from the government or your local utility providers.

  • I have some old windows from the 1970's and compared to the new windows we installed last fall in our whole house renovation, the old ones leak air, (and street noise) like crazy. Instead of replacing those windows, I'm looking into installing interior storm windows. Lowe's has some online in set sizes, (you can see ONE HERE) but as they're a totally new product line, they don't have them online for custom sizing.