In cold climates, a large amount of heat is lost through windows during the winter. For instance, a double-pane window might allow as much as 10 times the amount of heat to leave a house compared to the same area of a typical 2×6 wall. It makes sense to upgrade or insulate windows in order to improve the thermal envelope of a home, especially in an area with a long heating season; however, windows are a very expensive component of the building envelope to replace.
Replacing a single window can cost several hundred to more than a thousand dollars; therefore, people often resort to cheaper methods to reduce heat loss, such as shutters or curtains.
To find out whether replacing your windows makes economic sense, check out this Windows Payback Calculator.
To look at ways to reduce heat loss through temporary treatments like shutters or plastic film, check out our Moveable Window Insulation project.