Energy efficient windows worth higher cost over long term

Proper installation key to window effectiveness

INDIANAPOLIS - Replacing the windows in a home is a costly undertaking, but investing in more efficient glass could save money in the long run.

A triple-paned, low-emissivity window costs significantly more than a single-paned window, but it offers higher energy efficiency, and long-term savings.

Chris Pasa, with Mr. Window Inc., said window shoppers should ask about the windows' "U-factor."

"U-factor is a number that they put on each window that tells you just how efficient it is," Pasa said. "The lower the number, the more efficient that window is."

Proper installation is key to having efficient windows. Experts at Angie's List said sloppy installation could lead to air leakage and could even void the warranty.

"When hiring a window contractor, you want to do your homework," Angie Hicks, with Angie's List, said. "Remember that this is an investment in your house that is going to last for a long period of time, so you want to know what kind of guarantees and warranties come with the windows."

If the price of efficient windows is too much to spend at once, Hicks said homeowners can replace windows one-by-one over time.

Also, federal tax credits are available for some windows, which can help offset the cost.

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