CONSIDERING ENERGY UPGRADES? INVESTIGATE FIRST!
There isn’t a shortage of articles and advertisements in newspapers, magazines and on the internet touting the need to replace windows, and heating and air conditioning systems to save energy costs – and get dollars back from rebates or tax credits. Investing in energy saving products for the home is certainly a benefit for the environment, a benefit for the economy, and if done in the right way, a benefit for your own personal comfort and financial well-being.
If you need to replace windows because they are damaged, hard to open and allow wind infiltration and leakage of heated or cooled air from the house, investigating all the options on window types, energy efficiency ratings and replacement costs, and moving ahead with the best option makes sense. If your insulation is the insulation installed when the house was built 40+ years ago, undoubtedly an upgrade is needed and will be worthwhile. Likewise if your heating or air conditioning system is very old or giving you trouble, replacement with a unit with a high energy efficiency rating will be worthwhile – regardless of any manufacturer or tax incentives.
But before falling to the media or manufacturer hype on products or contractor pressure to upgrade simply because your windows or heating unit is not the most efficient one available, there are some things to consider:
Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue. More home safety and maintenance information is available online at http://www.housemaster.com/.
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