Install Eco-friendly, Replacement Windows for Friendlier Energy Bills
It's understandable that you have some reticence to replace the windows in your old house. The old panes may be a pain, leaking and weeping, but they add charm to the old walls. In the end, you are bound to realize the ancient glass is a monstrous energy drain.
Eco-friendly Vinyl Replacement Windows
While new vinyl replacement windows may seem to clash with the old, you should be able to match styles so that new glass is not a glaring change. Vinyl has the benefits of longevity, low maintenance, easy cleaning, and almost no weeping.
And of course, your new glass will be incredibly eco-friendly, using double-pane insulated glass with low-e coating.
If your basic window frames are in good shape, not rotting, split or falling apart, you should be able to insert replacement windows into the old frames with little problem. If you are not familiar with the process, you should be able to easily learn how to install vinyl replacement windows, or if not, find a friend who can. If you have any amount of do-it-yourself prowess, the process should be a snap.
How to Install Vinyl Replacement Windows
Here is a nutshell summary on how to replace your windows (assuming you already have accurately measured for the windows and they will fit perfectly). You will want to refine your knowledge a little if you actually are going to do it.
Remove the inside trim and stops--delicately, to preserve for reinstalling. If you have a double-hung window, pull out the old cords and weights (or springs) and remove the lower window sash. Remove the stops holding the upper sash and remove it. Clean the opening, caulk it and pop the replacement window into place. Replace the inside stops and trim, and--bingo! You're done.
The process is not tough. The new windows are energy efficient, and you have kept your old window frames to retain that rustic look.
Jim Mallery, a semi-retired journalist and onetime registered contractor, has extensive experience remodeling, repairing, and rebuilding homes.