Q. Is it worth it, money-wise, to replace my windows with more energy-efficient ones?
A. Sometimes. Energy-efficient windows are a good investment when you absolutely must replace a non-functional window or when you're putting windows in a new home or addition. But if you're considering new windows because you want to save energy or to reduce drafts, there are other effective solutions that will pay for themselves in energy savings much faster. These can include improved insulation, caulking around windows, or adding interior or exterior storm windows. If you want to find out where your home improvement dollars can best be invested to save energy, I suggest that you get a certified Home Performance With ENERGY STAR contractor to come to your house. For a fee, these specially trained contractors assess the entire house to identify ways to make it more energy-efficient, durable, comfortable, safe and healthy for occupants. To find a certified contractor in your area, call Efficiency Vermont, toll-free, at 888-921-5990 or visit efficiencyvermont.com/homeperformance.
Rachael is a business development specialist at Efficiency Vermont. To find more energy saving tips or to submit a new question about energy use in your home or business, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/askrachael or call, toll-free: 1-888-921-5990 to speak with a customer service representative.