Lost in all of the hype tossed around by the multi-paned vinyl window industry is the fact that storm windows may also qualify for federal tax credits. According to the Energy Star folks, storm windows may qualify for up to a $1,500 federal tax credit. What better way to preserve one of the most character-defining features on most homes?
Ok, so a tax credit sounds good, but why should I keep my old windows in the first place?
First of all, a properly maintained single pane wood window combined with weatherstripping and a storm window can achieve energy efficiency similar to that of new windows – likely for less cost too.
Older wood windows can also be repaired in most instances, whereas replacement windows for the most part cannot. What a huge waste of materials if you have to throw a whole sash away for what should be a minor repair. In addition, older wood windows were often constructed of old-growth timber, meaning the wood is denser and more durable than modern materials.
A final thought is that of appearance. Original windows are one of the most defining components in any style of architecture. Once those originals are gone, it is difficult to recapture that feeling and integrity.
There is a wealth of window and other energy-saving information in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Weatherization Guide.
Check it out!