Popular Cities in Illinois
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New and Replacement Window Installation in Illinois
Illinois is a pro-active state and supports consumers in their efforts to improve as well as upgrade property with energy efficient products. Through state and federal programs, property owners benefit not only with an increase in comfort and property value, they also see decrease in utility bills and can also receive additional savings through tax credits.
Illinois and Energy Efficiency Windows
One of the most supportive programs offered is the Illinois Home Performance (IHP) plan. Currently the program is under review for funding for the upcoming year. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity sponsors supports property owners in their efforts to decrease utility bills and add value to their property. The program uses a “whole-home” approach so no area is left unchecked. The IHP promotes home and business owners whose property is in need of an energy upgrade. The upgrade includes all areas of the property and provides a diagnosis of what improvements are necessary that will result in comfort and monthly savings.
With the help of a qualified energy professional, your property is inspected from top to bottom to find any areas in need of upgrading. This includes windows which are known energy wasters. You’ll receive a list from the energy professional of all the areas of your property, including the hard to find spots, that need attention. Once you know what needs to be addressed, you’ll work with a certified participating contractor to make the upgrades.
The government also offers help with a tax credit for homeowners with windows certified by EnergyStar that were installed from 2012 through 2014. This credit helps with purchases of energy efficient windows previously purchased on those two years equal to 10 percent of the cost of the product. Overall, homeowners can claim up to $500, in total, in energy efficient tax credits.
What the IHP Means to Your Return of Investment with Replacement Windows in Illinois
When property owners participate in the Illinois Home Performance program, a silver or gold Certificate of Completion is issued. With a certificate completed, you’ve not only secured comfort and efficiency, you’ve also increased the value of the property. Should you decide to sell the property in the future, having the certificate will show, and explain, the improvements that were completed.
For newer properties, or if you just want to know where your property stands on the efficiency meter, consider getting a Home Energy Score. Provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, the property is visually inspected by a Home Energy Score Assessor to rate the property from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of energy performance.
Property owners can expect an estimated 20 percent savings on energy bills by securing the integrity of the property by upgrading. For additional questions and contact information for existing homes and new home construction, visit the Ameren Illinois pages for homeowners. There’s also information on Ameren Illinois for commercial property owners.
Benefits of Upgrading and Replacing Windows in Illinois
Dealing with the weather in Illinois, especially during the winter, means a significant increase in the monthly utility bill. One of the best ways to lower the bill is by “energizing” your home or business property with more new windows.
Since buildings can have many windows, installing upgraded single or a double-paned window is a good place to start. With hot sun or cold temperatures pummeling the panes, installing new windows with a glaze or tint coating helps keep utility bills lower.
Additional benefits to installing new windows include the prevention of uncomfortable hot spots in the summer as well as ultraviolet rays causing interior damage such as fading furniture and carpets. These issues are addressed with the application of glazing or tinting of new windows.
New windows have a direct effect on a home or business cooling and heating system, too. When unprotected windows are in place, they allow the sun’s rays to penetrate the interior resulting in the system’s thermostat continuously clicking on in an effort to cool off the interior. This process goes on throughout the day which puts excessive stress and strain on the equipment plus increases the monthly utility bill.
Another benefit of new windows with insulating frames and warm edge technology is the window’s ability to create warmer surfaces on interior glass. This results in a reduction of frost and condensation. With new windows replacing outdated and non-efficient models, the property will experience an elimination of moisture and pools of water that result in mildew, mold and window and sill deterioration.
The Solar Gain Coefficient and Visible Transmittance factor is important in regard to the amount of increased light your property receives as well as the clarity of view from each window. When making your selection, especially for energy efficient windows, ask about low-solar-gain (Low-E) coatings. This type of glazing or coating provides the optimum in solar heat gain reduction over windows with tinted glass. It also minimizes the loss of visible light, and provides clear and unobstructed views. With new windows, your property will experience a sustained level of comfort.
Energy Efficient Windows and the Environment
States that rely only on fossil fuels aren’t taking advantage of natural resources or the application of products that embrace the use of energy efficient products. Double-paned windows regulate the natural sunlight pouring into windows which keeps energy costs down. By lowering the reliance on carbon-based fuels helps lessen the number of negative footprints on the environment and fewer toxic gas emissions.
Choosing New and Replacement Windows in Illinois
Since Illinois straddles two zones, it’s important to select windows specific to where your property is located. When choosing windows, two factors must be considered. These are the U-factor and the SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.
For a high level of performance select windows with a U-factor or 0.25 or less. For properties where air conditioning is not an issue, choose a higher SHGC between 0.35-0.60. If air conditioning is an issue and the property is not aided with shady property, choose windows that have less than a 0.35 SHGC.
For the optimum in efficiency, choose windows applicable to your climate zone and models that bear the certified Energy Star label and with the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) information. The label will have the Energy Performance Ratings (EPA) that include: U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Visible Transmittance, and Air Leakage for that particular style window.
In order to be eligible for rebates, Federal Tax credits, and local programs, certified products must comply with local city code requirements and be installed by certified professionals. For more information about selecting new windows, the fact sheet from the Efficient Windows Collaborative provides helpful information and charts.
It’s also important to check with your local city building department about any required permits before having windows installed by a licensed contractor. Each city has its own set of standard building codes to follow which may include a permit and an inspection by a city representative once the new windows are installed.
Types of New and Replacement Windows
Before buying windows you’ll want to know about the different types of frames and glazing and coatings that are available. Each frame type has its own positive and negative points. Energy.gov has more in-depth information about the following frames and coatings.
When it comes to choosing frames, there are quite a few choices. You’ll want to select the style that best fits the aesthetics of your property as well as the type that has the best durability for your climate zone. Frame material includes aluminum, wood, vinyl, and fiberglass.
Glazing or coatings also offer a variety of choices. These include reflective coatings, insulated, gas fills, spectrally selective coatings, low-emissivity coatings and heat-absorbing tints.
Rebates and Funding Programs for Windows
For a list of potential rebate programs, the U.S. Department of Energy has compiled a listing of current energy efficient rebate programs, reward programs, public funding funds, loan programs, project financing, and more, for property owners.
Estimating Cost of Replacement Windows in Illinois
Depending on the number of windows to be replaced, the cost can vary and average anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000 dollars. It is a significant investment and in past years, has yielded between 7 percent and 15 percent, or $71 to $501 on a property’s annual energy bill. This chart from the U. S. Department of Energy shows a breakdown by state and a list of cities of the potential savings when replacing single or double paned windows.
Checklist When Preparing for New Windows
A good resource in helping in new window selection is the Window Selection Tool for new construction and replacement windows available from the Efficient Windows Collaborative. The information available also includes the selection process, helps with choosing the design that works with your property, and provides installation information for new construction. For replacement windows, there is information regarding repair, retrofit, replacement, selection, design and installation.
If your property is serviced by Commonwealth Edison Co (ComEd), Ameren Illinois, or an independent supplier, contact their office for information about current programs offering incentives and rebates. This information is helpful especially if you are planning to make upgrades to additional areas of the home or commercial property.
Prepare your building by moving indoor and outdoor furniture, planters, window boxes, or any other fixtures that are blocking windows prior to the contractor arriving. Once the windows are installed, do a visual inspection to see that seams are caulked and everything is in place. Also do a manual check to ensure the windows are operating properly.
With all of the information available, it’s clear to see upgrading a property with new windows is an involved project. It is a significant investment but the return outweighs the cost by providing on-going savings to the monthly energy bill, better interior comfort, increases a property’s value, beautification to the property, and provides clear and unobstructed views year-round.