From: Cheryl Corley, NPR
Published October 11, 2009 01:42 PM

Time to Upgrade Windows?

This is not another article about Windows 7! Your house's windows can provide great views and fresh air, but they also can run up energy bills. That's why many people opt to replace old drafty windows at home with new energy-efficient ones.

Those who choose this route can now get a federal tax credit of up to $1,500. Nancy Munson, a resident of Downers Grove, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago, is one of many rushing to take advantage before the tax credit expires at the end of next year. Her 1950s-era two-bedroom cottage has its original widows, which have single-glass panes and metal frames.


Energy experts say there are less-expensive ways to reduce energy costs. Brandon Thiele, the founder of Chicago Energy Consultants, says investing in windows is last on his list in terms of building energy efficiency.

"You can't deny that a single-pane window is not going to be outperformed by a new double-pane or triple-pane window," Thiele says. "But the money that you would typically spend on that is typically better spent on sealing air leaks in the home and increasing insulation levels."

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