Homeowners are dreading a future of sky-high winter heating or blistering summer air conditioning bills. Even if further price hikes don't occur, hardly a likely scenario, homeowners are realizing that even double pane replacement windows may not be enough to curb soaring energy costs.
The government Energy Star website, which promotes energy efficiency among U.S. consumers and businesses, acknowledges the need for better alternatives. "All energy efficient windows have at least two panes, but not all double-paned windows are energy efficient," states the website. "Twenty years ago, double-paned meant energy efficient; today, advanced technologies have enabled the development of windows that are much more efficient than traditional clear-glass double-paned windows."
While window replacement is a no-brainer if you're replacing them for maintenance or aesthetic reasons anyways, more homeowners are switching from traditional single and double-paned windows to state-of-the-art, triple-paned vinyl replacement windows for comfort, cost and energy savings up to 50% per year.
No longer bracing against the cold
Against winters as cold as -15° F, John and Milly Simon layered themselves in sweaters and blankets indoors to brace against the cold coming through double-paned windows in their 2,700-sq.-foot home.
"We knew we'd always be cold during winter, even though the heating bill was going through the roof, and we had to do something about it," says John Simon.
One window replacement technology called Bristol Replacement Windows piqued his interest. These triple-paned design vinyl replacement windows with high-tech thermal spacers between each pane of glass helped prevent both cold and heat from radiating either inside or outside.
According to Simon, the triple-paned windows have cut his family's heating and cooling bills in half. "With Bristol Windows, we save approximately $2,500 a year in heating and cooling costs and are protected from spikes in energy cost. Best of all, we're comfortable and can finally enjoy our home year-round."
Not sweating summer heat anymore
During Saundra King's first summer in her Mesa, Arizona home it got up to 120° F outside. She found no refuge from the heat inside her two-story 3,000-sq.-foot home overlooking a golf course. Inside she had the air conditioning cranked all the way up, a ceiling fan going full blast, and two giant floor fans placed on either side of a picture window in her home office.
A thermal reading of the single-paned, aluminum windows in her home read 115° F, while the home's interior topped 90° F. At a contractor's recommendation, she installed energy-efficient, double-paned windows in a new addition to her home, but was sorely disappointed at the amount of heat they still let through.
King decided to replace her single-paned windows with triple-paned ones, and relates the moment her hot house became a home for her.
"The day they came to install my new windows, I was sweating in my home office as usual," says King. "When they removed the picture window, the heat was so intense I thought I'd die. But the instant they lifted these windows into place, the heat disappeared. I nearly got whiplash turning my ahead around, trying to figure out what happened to the heat."
King estimates saving at least $3,000 a year in cooling and heating costs since installing the Bristol Windows. She's so happy with the triple-paned replacement windows that she's planning to replace her year-old, double-paned windows with them.