Regardless of who or what is to blame, the hard truth is that Americans are paying dearly for energy this winter.
In fact, “… residential gas prices are expected to be 22 percent higher this winter compared to last year’s, and residential electricity prices are expected to be 6 percent higher on average, according to energy analyst Paul Arbaje.
This and other predictions have so far missed the mark. Anecdotal evidence across the country from everyday Americans shows that, in some parts of the country, energy prices have doubled.
That said, it’s hard to imagine anyone looking forward to receiving their monthly energy bills. But, if you have a home ready to go on the market, and that home happens to be energy efficient, you’ll want those power bills included in open house and other marketing materials.
The folks at Energy.gov claim that 25 to 30 percent of the air in our homes, whether cool or warm, escapes through the windows. This, in turn, forces the HVAC system to kick on, creating high energy bills.
If you’re just now toying with selling your home or you’re a homeowner who wants to save money on your energy bills, consider replacing your windows.
Need another great reason to consider swapping out those old windows?
Homebuyers are willing to pay more now to save money later
The National Association of Homebuilders’ (NAHB) most recent release of their annual study “What Homebuyers Really Want” shows that ENERGY STAR® windows are in high demand.
Out of 200 features from which to choose, ENERGY STAR windows came in at number four among the homebuyers surveyed. Thirty-nine percent of homebuyers rated them as “Essential, must-have.”
Windows showed up twice when homebuyers were asked for their top 5 green features. ENERGY STAR® windows came in at number one, while triple-pane insulating glass windows came in at number five.
“… significantly more buyers are willing to pay extra for a home if they understand it will lead to annual savings in utility costs,” claims the study’s authors. In fact, 57% are willing to pay $5,000 or more, on top of the price of the home, in order to save $1,000 a year in utilities.
How to choose new windows
From the choice between vinyl, aluminum, wood and wood clad frames to comparing the ratings, shopping for new windows can be overwhelming.
The folks at Consumer Reports have put various window types to the test and come up with a few tips for consumers.
First, don’t assume that the higher the price, the better the window. When it came to keeping rain and cold air out of the home, their tests found that a $260 window vastly outperformed the much pricier ones. They offer a brilliant guide what to look for when choosing new windows for your home at ConsumerReports.org.
Finally, when comparing windows, these experts recommend that you check “… the overall scores in our window Ratings, then zero in on test results that apply to where you live. If your home is exposed to high winds and cold temperatures, look for windows that were excellent at low-temperature wind resistance.”
Share with your real estate agent any improvement you make to your home that improves energy efficiency. It’s an incredible marketing tool he or she will use when marketing your home.