Q. I just bought an older home and want to make it more energy efficient. Should I start by replacing the old windows?
Congratulations on your new house and for your commitment to energy efficiency! Upgrading windows can definitely save energy and improve the comfort of your home. But weatherizing should be your top priority.
Most homes in the United States don’t have enough insulation and have significant air leaks.* Taking care of these items first will do more to save energy than new windows. Closing up the shell of your house is like wrapping it in a warm blanket. You’ll lose less air to the outside, and you could save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.**
Once you’ve sealed and insulated, you can move on to new windows, which are generally a bigger investment and have a longer payback.
Get Energy Trust incentives for both upgrades
Energy Trust of Oregon is a tremendous resource for homeowners. You can get cash back on qualifying projects, and Energy Trust trade ally contractors can do the work and help you apply for incentives.
Learn more about weatherization and windows, including advice on weatherization assistance.
**Source: Environmental Protection Agency. Savings will vary based on individual circumstances.