A federal tax credit of up to $1,500 for installing energy efficient windows has homeowners lining up outside their local hardware stores (and going nuts on their old windows to the tune of "Break Stuff," we like to imagine).
Energy Star, a government program that rates product efficiency, says that in Washington, replacing single-pane windows with those that it approves can save about $500 a year in energy costs in a 2,000-square-foot detached house with 300 square feet of windows.
But according to the Washington Post, buyers of energy-efficient window might be throwing their money, well ... out the window.
Nils Petermann of the Alliance to Save Energy recommends getting a home energy audit to help determine how to make your home more energy-efficient. You might be able to get away with a few minor window repairs, he says.
Maslin told WP that with about $100 (plus foam and caulk), you can tighten your house's envelope and avoid dropping thousands on windows.
If you do decide to replace your windows, start by visiting www.energystar.com. Installing Energy Star-rated windows before June 1 will make you eligible for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the window price, up to a $1,500 credit. After that date and through December 2010, the rules become more stringent.