Home improvement projects have always been popular investments for homeowners. There’s no doubt that improving the home has its benefits—like making the home look better, enhancing resale value, and of course, increasing comfort and performance. One of the most popular home improvement goals is to focus on making the home more eco-friendly and “greener”. This is usually done by replacing older home features with more modern and energy-efficient ones. Window replacements are a perfect example of this and are one of the smartest, most effective changes you can make to improve your home and become more energy-efficient. Poorly functioning windows can turn your home into an oven in the summertime, and a freezer in the winter, due to excessive, year-round energy loss. With new, energy-efficient windows, you can expect to keep the home more comfortable throughout the year, while spending less on energy bills, and helping the environment too.
However, any home improvement project will cost money to complete. Modern, energy-efficient windows come in a range of prices, and replacement can be a very costly project to take on. As such, the top two questions asked by homeowners considering upgrading their windows are “how much will they cost?” and “is the cost worth it?” Today, we’re going to go over some of the financial incentives that can accompany new, energy-efficient window replacements—to help you decide whether making the switch might be worth it.
Window Performance Benefits
Energy-efficient windows should make your home noticeably better. Here’s how the newest window models stack up to older, single-pane and other types of low-quality window products:
Better insulation: The single biggest reason for heat loss and those hot and cold spots is poor insulation from your windows. Energy-efficient windows are specifically designed to form a barrier against the cold weather in winter. In the summer, they work to keep the heat outside where it belongs so your home stays cool.
Environmentally friendly: Since these windows perform better than your old windows, you’ll be able to keep the home at a comfortable temperature more easily. This translates to less energy usage, which means less needed power from non-renewable energy sources like coal or natural gas-fired power plants.
Lower costs: While you won’t experience this immediately, the truth is that converting to energy-efficient windows from standard windows will result in cost savings on your energy bill. Given enough time, you can actually save enough to equal your original investment.
Item protection: Standard windows don’t filter UV rays effectively. As such, those rays can harm your carpet, furniture, rugs, and other items that experience long-term exposure. Energy-efficient windows are designed with a special coating that blocks out the sun’s ultraviolet rays ensuring your items remain safe.
Less noise: Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they are also neighborhood friendly. Don’t like hearing your neighbors all the time even with the windows shut? Invest in energy-efficient windows, and those noises stay outside where they belong.
Reduced maintenance: Lack of condensation buildup and less energy transfer means that less maintenance is needed on these new windows. Less time and money spent on windows is always a good thing.
Incentives for Kansas City, MO Residents
Sometimes, better window performance doesn’t seem like enough to justify the sheer expense this investment represents. Fortunately, for Kansas City, MO residents, there are several programs available to help minimize the cost. Some popular programs include:
KCP&L Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Utility Rebate Program: This is a rebate program that offers up to $600 for existing homes that commit to energy-efficient improvements, including windows among other items. However, the improvements have to be certified with an Energy Star contractor.
Energize Missouri Homes Homeowner Upgrades and Geothermal (HUG) State Rebate Program: This program is a residential program for homeowners that need more energy-efficient upgrades for central air conditioners, insulation upgrades, caulking/weather-stripping worn-out windows, window replacements, and more. Up to $10k is offered for homeowners that qualify for this program.
While there are other similar programs, the requirements may be geared to other items or require a complete home remodel to qualify. It’s recommended to seek the expertise of a contractor qualified to advise on these programs for further details.
Incentives for Kansas City, KS Residents
For Kansas City, KS residents, the options may not be as varied or available, but they are no less powerful in the incentives offered. For starters, through December 31, 2020, you can benefit from the retroactive extension of tax credits for residential energy efficiency. Some other programs to look into include:
How$mart®: Homeowners must qualify to benefit from this program. This program provides money for energy efficiency improvements including insulation, air sealing, new heating, and cooling systems, and commercial lighting. The funds are repaid through energy savings on their monthly Midwest Energy bills.
Efficiency Kansas Loan Program: The Efficiency Kansas Loan program provides funding for Kansas residents through low-cost loans to make energy-efficient upgrades to homes, rental units, or small business buildings and offices.
By no means is this list extensive, nor does it cover every possible qualifying factor. For a full breakdown of the programs applicable to your home, it’s best to work with a contractor trained and qualified to advise on these and other comprehensive programs.
Optimizing Your Investment
Before you jump on the energy-efficient bandwagon, there are some things to consider. First and foremost, you must work with a contractor that will install your windows correctly. After all, you could wind up losing money and home value in the long run if the windows are installed incorrectly. This is because window performance measures such as insulation are reduced drastically when this occurs.
Second, you must consider both installation and manufacturer warranties for energy-efficient window replacement. Sometimes, things happen that aren’t good for you or your home. Warranties can ensure you remain protected in case those bad things happen to you.
Finally, if you intend to take advantage of the programs listed or other programs, then it’s important to ensure you work with a skilled and certified contractor. The right contractor will not only guide you through the window installation process, but they will also be able to inform you about the smartest rebates and financial incentives that apply to you so you get the best results possible.
For more information about energy-efficient window replacement in Kansas City, give our team at Smart Exteriors a call today. Or, schedule a free, no-obligation pricing estimate by filling out our quick online form.