In the last article we discussed the three main questions you should ask yourself before replacing your homes windows: Why? What? and How? I left you with the statement that I would explain why just popping a new window unit into the old window frame was a bad idea and would keep you from achieving your goal of energy efficiency and comfort. It also comes under the HOW question.
If you look at the second photo for this article you will notice that there is a gap between the frame of the window and the framing of the house. The framing of the house is called the “rough opening”. When most homes are built, the builders usually stuff this gap with a piece of fiberglass insulation and sometimes even leave it open. Because a piece of fiberglass does not stop air flow, THIS is where most of the air leakage occurs around a window. If this gap is not filled with spray foam, it will continue to leak air. This is why installing a new window unit in the old frame is a bad idea, yet it happens every day. Having the entire original unit (frame and all) taken out will cost you more money. BUT, if your goal is to make you home more energy efficient and comfortable, it’s a must. At minimum you should have the interior trim removed, the old batts crammed into the gaps removed, and then have the gaps filled with spray foam.
The other part of HOW is the financial part. How are you going to pay for your new windows? There are several scams out there involving this end of the equation. One of them is advertising the $189 installed replacement windows. There is a reason why sales of these types of windows make up less than 2% of the market in a multibillion dollar industry. This is the old bait and switch method. “Oh you want us to take out and haul away the old units??? Well that will cost extra.” And again, they are popping new units in the old frames.
The other financial scam is the ONLY $99 DOWN AND $99 A MONTH!!! pitch. Do you really think you can pay $99 a month for $20,000 of new windows? Even if they were interest free it would take you almost 17 years to pay for them. Don’t fall for this used car salesman type scam. Most people have other legitimate means to finance a large project like this.
What is the best way to prepare for a project like this? What are some of the alternatives to replacing your existing windows? Tune in to the next entry to find out. If you can’t wait until then, you can enter your question into the comment section below or click "Ask The Energy Guy" or visit the rest of the blog section where this and several other related topics are discussed. As always….Don’t throw money at your problems, throw knowledge, it’s a lot cheaper.