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Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Updating Your Home: Window Check

Home windows .

Are your home’s windows looking tired and worn? Does it take two of you to pry them open? Maybe you’ve noticed a lot of cold air coming in accompanied by water leaks on your wall and rotted wood around the frames.

Most experts note that high-quality, well-maintained windows typically last for 20 to 25 years. If you’ve been living with the same windows for a couple of decades or have purchased an older home in need of repair, replacing windows is probably inevitable. However, there are some other very good reasons to upgrade your windows even if you suspect you can get by for a few more years.

You can lower your energy bill.

Replacing your old, inefficient windows with new, energy-efficient options lowers your heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Drafty windows may be costing you from 10 to 25 percent more in annual energy costs, so your new energy-efficient windows will eventually pay for themselves. Proper installation is essential, so be sure to hire a reputable professional for this home improvement job.

You increase the value of your home.

Replacing your windows helps increase the market value of your home.

Outdated windows detract from the curb appeal of your property, and if you’re hoping to sell, you want to do everything possible to increase your chances. In 2021, you’d recoup about 69.5 percent of your vinyl replacement window investment. Compare that to a kitchen remodel that averages about 55 percent of costs recovered.

Lower utility bills are also a big plus to prospective homebuyers. “An energy-efficient house is an attractive house,” advises Trulia. Replacing old windows gives you a big return on your investment when smart consumers get ready to make you an offer. They take into consideration not just the monthly mortgage payment, but also the ongoing costs of utilities and maintenance. It's possible to increase the market value of your home by $20 for every $1 decrease in annual energy costs, according to the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

You’re protecting your property from burglars.

Not only are you preventing damage from natural disasters with impact-resistant or shatterproof windows, you’re depriving criminals of easy access to your valuables. Although impact-resistant windows are not 100 percent burglarproof, they make it much harder for a would-be thief to quickly and quietly enter your home.

You enhance productivity and improve well-being.

In an article for Forbes, Trulia notes that when you install larger windows to increase a room’s natural light, not only do you gain aesthetic benefits, you also enjoy health benefits. Environments illuminated by natural light increase comfort and enhance productivity while helping to regulate your circadian rhythms for better overall health, according to the Lighting Research Center.

Remember to consult your insurance agent when making home renovations and upgrades to ensure that your homeowner’s policy provides sufficient coverage for the increase in your home’s value.

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