Did you know that most residential windows last between 15 and 20 years? If your windows are this old, it might be time to replace them. Besides the age factor, you should replace the windows on your home if they are damaged, if they don't open and close as they should, or if you notice a buildup of fog or condensation.

If it is time to replace your windows, you may want to consider installing energy-efficient windows. Even though you might pay up to $800 per window, choosing energy-efficient windows is a wise investment because they will help you save money down the road.

Energy-Efficient Windows Can Lower Heating and Cooling Costs

One of the best ways energy-efficient windows can help you to save money is by costing you less on your energy bill. Energy-efficient windows contain multiple panes, and the spaces between these panes are filled with insulation. This, along with a low-emissivity (Low-E) coating, helps to reduce heat conduction. The Low-E coating also helps prevent heat from escaping.

What this all means is that when you install energy-efficient windows, your home will stay warmer during the colder months of the year and cooler during the warmer months. On average, homeowners who replace their single-pane windows with double-pane energy-efficient ones will save up to $465 a year. Swapping out regular double-pane windows with energy-efficient ones will save homeowners up to $111 a year.

In order to maximize your savings on the cost of heating and cooling, you should opt for a vinyl or fiberglass window frame instead of one made from aluminum.

Energy-Efficient Windows Can Qualify Homeowners for Tax Credits

One more way to save money by installing energy-efficient windows is by qualifying for certain tax credits. One such tax credit is the Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit. As long as the windows meet guidelines established by the Department of Energy, exterior windows will be considered a qualifying type of energy improvement to your home.

Qualifying homeowners can claim up to 10% of the total cost with a maximum of $500 for the following types of energy-efficient improvements:

  • Insulation
  • Doors
  • Windows and skylights
  • Roofing materials

Any of these types of energy efficiency updates that have been made from 2006 to the present will qualify for a tax credit. Homeowners will be able to claim this tax credit through 2021. To get the tax credit, taxpayers must file Form 5695.