LESLIE: Ernest in Louisiana is dealing with some energy-inefficient windows. What can we do for you today?
ERNEST: My house was built in 1959 with the aluminum, single-graded windows.
ERNEST: And I wondered if it’d be just as efficient to add just a window covering. I’ve got 15 windows in my house. I’m trying to save money putting them in plus money – just see if it’d make any difference in the price to replace them or just cover them with some storm windows.
TOM: Well, I’ve got to tell you, with aluminum windows, they are probably the most inefficient window design out there. Not only is the single pane not going to hold any heat or cool in or out of your house but the metal has such thermal properties that the temperature just kind of zings right through it. Unfortunately, this is not a situation, Ernest, where we could recommend replacement windows because the frames with aluminum windows have to be removed; so you have to put a new construction window in.
So what I would suggest is, first of all, I would not recommend you throw sort of good money after bad by putting in storm windows because those are going to be, you know, expensive …
LESLIE: Unless you have them.
TOM: Well, yeah, but I wouldn’t go buying them.
TOM: What I would do is I would put my money into replacing the windows. Now, if you don’t want to do them all at the same time, that’s fine; you know, do the north side of the house, then the west, then the east, then the south. And in the meanwhile, for those other windows, I would just use different types of materials inside to try to make the house a little bit warmer and deal with the insulation loss there. So I would kind of plug the gaps as best I could but I would definitely put my money into replacing the windows as I could afford it because that’s definitely going to give you the best return on investment.
ERNEST: I see. Well, I appreciate that. I put two new doors in and believe it or not, just putting those two new doors in where – I have a lot of entrances into my house and I looked at my power bill and I saved 192 kilowatts of energy over the same period last year.
TOM: Wow, that’s fantastic. Well, I’ve got to tell you, you’ll save a lot more than that if you replace those windows. And if you’re skilled enough to do those improvements yourself, Ernest, that’s definitely the way to go.
ERNEST: OK. Well, I thank you. That helps a lot.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.