Air conditioning accounts for as much as 60% of your energy costs each year if you live in Phoenix, with bills typically doubling each summer when the AC comes on. With bills this high, it isn’t uncommon for homeowners to look for ways to save money. Depending on the current condition of your windows and their age, you may find that replacing at least a few of your windows can help you reduce your monthly AC bills each summer.
There are essentially two reasons why your windows can affect your AC bill – air gap and lack of insulation.
The air gap is the seal around your windows that allows outside air to pass into your home, and your inside air to leak out. Poor air seal can mean a loss of around 35 – 40% of the energy you use to cool your home. Sometimes this is a quick fix (just sealing up the windows), but if the windows are old and a poor fit, sometimes the air gap is just too large to seal, and replacing the windows is the way to close it permanently.
Lack of insulation in most windows also plays a big role in how hard your air conditioner works. Windows are one of the biggest sources of heat transfer in your home because they let the sunlight in to raise the temperature in your home up to 20 degrees. They also get heated by the sun itself before transferring that heat indoors.
Replacing your windows with more insulated, energy-efficient models can help stop up to 90% of the sun’s heat transfer into your home. This, in turn, will help to reduce the heat load indoors, making your AC work less and lowering your energy bills.
The best windows for use in Phoenix that help lower your AC energy bills are gas-filled vinyl. These windows have less of an air gap so you get less air transfer, and they’re insulated, which stops heat transfer from the sun as well.
Keep in mind that they aren’t always necessary in every room and in every area of your home. They work best in rooms that receive direct sun exposure on the south and west sides of a home. Therefore, if you have a large room with many windows on the south side, replacing them with energy-efficient gas-filled windows can help dramatically reduce the temperature in that area; if it makes up a large percentage of your total square footage, it will, in turn, have a dramatic effect on your energy bills.
While replacing some windows can help lower the temperature in your home, replacing all your windows may not be necessary. This is due to the fact that the cost of these windows may far outweigh any potential benefit you’re going to receive by replacing a single pane window that is in good condition in a room that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. Therefore, sealing up the air gap around all the existing windows in your home and replacing windows in large rooms that are in direct sunlight on the south and west sides of your home will give you the biggest return on your investment, while also keeping your home more comfortable, improving your indoor air quality, and reducing noise.
Call to learn more about our home performance services or find out if your windows are responsible for any energy loss in your home. Consider making an appointment for an energy audit to determine the amount of air gap you’re dealing with. Otherwise, replace the windows strategically around your home for the best results, and get better comfort and lower bills at the same time.
We want to help you learn about about all things air conditioning and heating! Have any questions or want to see us write about something? Give us a call, chat, or email and we'll do our best to help you out.