Old vs. New Windows


New windows in an older home provide benefits, but maybe not the kind you expect. Several times a week, I meet with potential customers to discuss the pros and cons of replacing first- (single-glazed, non-thermally broken) and second- (double-glazed, non-thermally broken) generation aluminum, or single-glazed wood windows with new double-paned units.


As a Bainbridge Island resident and community member, I believe my job is not to sell you

windows, but to protect your investment and provide value. As such, my first order of business in these interactions is to dispel (some) of the marketing myths that have been foisted upon you.


  • Factoid 1: In general, older houses lose far more heat through a poorly insulated attic than through any window system. Therefore, before you give me $20K for new windows, please put $5K worth of insulation in your attic.


  • Factoid 2: When you install new windows, your heating bill will not drop dramatically. Your house will be more efficient, it’s true. The cost of a new vinyl window system will take about 20 years to amortize out in energy savings, so the value has to come from somewhere else.


  • Benefit 1: Your home will be more comfortable with new, double-glazed windows because in the cold seasons there will be fewer and milder cold spots near windows—and during the warm seasons, energy-efficient coatings will reduce solar heat gain. Your house will be cooler, and the AC will run less.


  • Benefit 2: The energy-efficient coatings on new window glass filter upwards of 90% of UVA and UVB, which will markedly reduce bleaching of fabrics, flooring, artwork, and anything else prone to UV damage.


  • Benefit 3: Your home will look better. If you want to refresh the look of your home, a well-considered window with new trim detail adds interest and style, both inside and out.

For window or remodel projects reach out to Rob at Olympic Glass & IMI Construction at info@olyglass.com.

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