If you have an older home or rental property with single pane windows, you are wasting money and should be looking at replacement windows as soon as possible. That old single pane glass does very little to insulate your home. Depending on the season, your air-conditioner or heater has to work much harder to keep up with these inefficient energy wasters.
A simple test will prove this fact. In very cold weather, you will notice the room temperature near your single pane glass window drops significantly. Conversely, summertime temps will rise dramatically near those windows, especially those that receive direct sunlight. If this is the case in your home, then quality double-paned windows are the answer to your problems.
The glass itself is the major problem. At one-eighth of an inch thick, single pane windows simply have no capability for insulation and are very easily cracked or broken. New Energy Star approved windows are manufactured with double-paned glass that has varying types of insulating materials sandwiched between the panes.
Replacement windows will also have better insulated frames. Once your window installer company removes the old frames, they will be able to identify problems and use the latest energy efficient techniques for properly sealing the window frame.
In recent years, the government issued tax incentives for replacement windows, among many other energy saving improvements to your home. There were specific requirements to qualify. One was the use of Energy Star approved equipment. Always look for the Energy Star label on replacement windows, doors, lighting, appliances, and skylights to be sure you are purchasing quality energy saving products.
Check with your accountant or the IRS to see if the tax incentives still apply. Under previous rules, the changes were required to be made by the end of 2013. However, the program was very popular and successful and may be renewed by Congress.