Installing replacement windows is a great way to create a more energy-efficient environment inside your home. Faulty, inefficient windows, whether due to installation or simple old age, can account for a huge energy loss and higher energy bills. This is also a year-round problem because while cold drafts are obvious in the colder months, warm drafts also drain energy bills in the summer.
If the framing around your windows seems to be in good shape, then installing replacement windows your best option. Replacement windows allow you to remove just the operable parts of the old window (like the sashes that slide up and down) but keep the original wood window frame. The replacement window simply slips inside of the old window and with a little bit of trim and caulk, you're done. A big advantage of replacement windows is that you can install them quickly and with no disturbance to the siding. The newest model windows offer low-e as well as double or triple-pane glass, both excellent options for energy efficiency.
This is also a great time to make this energy saving improvement as the government is offering tax credits for energy efficient improvements made through 2010. For more information on current tax credit offers, visit the Alliance to Save Energy, and to plan your purchase of efficient replacement windows, check out the Energy Star website.