Money Matters: Weighing the Cost of Replacing Windows vs Future Energy Savings In San Antonio

Are you worried about the cost of replacing windows? What if they pay for themselves in energy savings? Learn more about energy-efficient windows here.


The cost of replacing home windows in San Antonio, TX will run you up to $7,500. The good news is, this is an expense you only have to pay for once every 20 years or more.

Unless you’ve been thinking about replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones. It’s good for the environment and you’ll save money on your utility bills.

But how much money does it actually save?

Weighing the decision to replace your existing windows is a difficult one. When you don’t know if it’s even worth it, it makes it tougher. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the cost of replacing your windows vs. your future savings.

What Are the Most Energy Efficient Windows?

There are a few factors that go into making your windows energy efficient. The frame material, operation, glazing or glass type, and gas fills and spacers affect the efficiency.

One way to be sure you’re getting an energy efficient window is to look for the Energy Star logo. You can also ask the window installer if the windows they sell have an Energy Star rating and what it is.

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Aluminum or Metal

Aluminum or metal frames conduct heat faster than other materials. This doesn’t make them an efficient insulator. You can reduce the amount of heat flow with a thermal break.

They’re durable and require very little maintenance. The cost of an aluminum frame is higher than windows that are more energy-efficient windows. There’s also a chance condensation will lead to corrosion.

Wood Windows

Wood frames insulate well but need a lot of maintenance. They scratch, dent, mold, and warp. You also have to reseal them every other year and they’re vulnerable to termites.

Composite Windows

Composite frames consist of particleboard and engineered wood, sometimes mixed with polymers. They’re equal to wood frames in structure and thermal properties but they’re better at resisting moisture and warping.

Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass frames are stable and you can fill their cavities with insulation. This improves their thermal efficiency. Fiberglass replacement window costs are much higher than vinyl but they do look more like natural wood.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows consist of PVC with UV stabilizers so the sun’s rays don’t break down the material. Manufacturers are working to keep the finish from wearing on vinyl frames.

Vinyl frames don’t need a lot of maintenance. They’re moisture resistant and, like fiberglass, you can fill the cavities with insulation. In general, vinyl windows are very affordable and energy efficient.

Glazing or Glass

The type of glazing or glass also affects a window’s energy efficiency. Dual pane windows or double pane glass will be more efficient than single-pane. There are other factors like climate and building design to consider as well:

Insulated

Insulated glazing is when two panes of glass get separated than sealed to become airtight. The measure of heat transfer is lower but so is the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).

Low-Emissivity Coatings

These coatings control heat transfer with insulated glazing. Low-e coatings cost more but lower energy loss by as much as 50%. To save money you can apply it yourself after the window installation.

Spectrally Selective Coatings

Spectrally selective is a type of Low-E coating. It filters out the most heat and reduces the need for cooling spaces in warmer climates the most.

Gas Fills and Spacers

The most common gas fills are krypton and argon. These gases get filled between glazing layers to lower heat transfer between the window’s interior and exterior.

Spacers are for keeping the glazing layers the proper distance apart. They prevent gas leaks and moisture from getting in. They also allow for pressure differences and expansion.

The Operation of the Window

The way a window operates affects energy efficiency due to the amount of air flow that it allows. The six energy efficient operation types are:

  • Awning – Hinged at the top and open outward.
  • Hopper – Hinged at the bottom and open inward.
  • Sliding – Sashes slide side to side.
  • Fixed – Panes don’t open.
  • Double-hung – Sashes slide up and down.
  • Casement – Hinged at the sides and open inward or outward.

Talk to your window professional and check the Energy Star ratings on the type of window you’re interested in. The difference in air leak efficiency may not deter you away from a particular style you like.

Signs Your Windows Need Replacing

Many homeowners try and save money by repairing their windows instead of replacing them. With the cost of new windows as high as $700 each, it’s understandable you want to try to repair if you can. But if you experience any of the following, replacing your windows is the way to go:

  • You can feel a draft.
  • Your windows leak water.
  • You notice condensation or fog on your windows.
  • You have warped window frames.
  • Your windows have cracks or other damage.

The exception is if you’ve had your windows replaced and they’re under warranty. Something could have gone wrong during the install and didn’t get noticed. Sometimes, the integrity of the window gets compromised during the shipping process.

Is the Cost of Replacing Windows Worth It?

Energy Star reports that the average home saves $126-$465 a year when replacing single-pane windows with energy efficient ones. That number lowers to $27-$111 a year when you switch from double-pane to an energy efficient window.

Climate plays a factor as well. In warmer climates, older homes have single-pane windows because holding heat wasn’t a necessity. If you live in an older home in Texas, switching to energy efficient windows can save you as much as $266 per year.

If you have double-pane windows and would like to switch to energy-efficient ones, you’ll save about $90. Either way, depending on how many windows you replace, the windows will pay for themselves in a few years’ time.

Add to Your Windows’ Efficiency

The cost of replacing windows will pay for itself in the long run. But there are things you can do to help increase your windows’ efficiency.

Reflective blinds and light-reducing curtains will increase your windows’ efficiencyInstalling a patio cover will also reduce the amount of heat and light that gets into your home.

If you’re thinking about replacing your windows, there’s only one company you should contact. At First Place Windows, we’re the highest rated replacement window company in San Antonio. We only sell and install energy-efficient windows to save you money and increase your home’s value.

We also offer siding repair, patio cover installation, and sunroom installation. Contact us today and let us exceed your expectations.

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