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New windows make a home energy-efficient.

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While a boon to curb appeal, new windows are unlikely to be critically important to a home’s efficiency. The Federal Trade Commission has warned or filed charges against more than a dozen window manufacturers to ensure their marketing is truthful. Some companies were promising up to 50 percent return on investment thanks to energy savings when in fact estimates are that number is closer to 3 percent. A window is basically a hole, and a hole is never efficient. You can have a slightly better hole, but it will never be a major factor. Owners who want to cut energy bills should start with insulation—likely a third of the cost of new windows—or just get a smart thermostat.


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