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Energy Saving: More Than an Abstract Concept

Many consumers have a difficult time with realizing the benefits that energy saving features grant. It is a difficult concept because it seems to have no tangible benefit to the homeowner. As humans, we like our benefits where we can see them. If it is solid and concrete, then it is believable. How do we know that energy saving features on windows actually make any difference at all? How can you be absolutely sure that you're not just buying into something that is just a false blanket of security? Especially since consumers have been propped up with deceptive advertising such as "antibacterial soap" or "buy our bug spray so you don't get the West Nile virus from a mosquito!"

Such advertising campaigns are commonplace which makes the average consumer shrug at intangible advertising methods. The advertisers and some manufacturers did not bother to mention that all soap is antibacterial; that is the entire point of soap. More responsible companies took the time to make some developments for more efficient soap. Many others simply printed "Antibacterial" on the packaging and let it sell itself. It wasn't a lie; but it wasn't any different than their former product.

Manufacturers of insect repellents touted protection from mosquitoes when West Nile was the thing to fear. Advertisers used the intangible of that fear to push consumers to buy more protective methods so they would not be afflicted. While it is unfortunate for those that were actually infected and suffered from it; the chances were very small that even if someone was infected by it, that they would develop any meaningful reaction to it. Is that to say that groups like the CDC over-reacted? No, not at all. That's their job. They don't profit from it. What was unnecessary was advertisers stoking those intangible fears to generate sales.

These kinds of advertising methods are things we have grown used to. They cause us to look at intangible offerings from advertisers and smirk. They deceived us before, why would they not do so again? Efficiency measures in replacement windows and doors are an intangible benefit that is very real. They are real and verifiable from a number of sources and methods.

Creating a Tangible from the Intangible

There are many major points to consider when deciding on the validity of energy saving features on windows. While we may not necessarily be able to see a visible indicator that a bunch of energy isn't pouring through the window; there are some things surrounding it we can be sure of that lend heavy credibility to it.

The EPA, DoE, and Energy Star

A few major factors for the development and use of energy saving features come in the form of government institutions and programs. Firstly, the Environmental Protection Agency. Their backing and management of such programs as Energy Star is specifically designed to encourage a homeowner to take advantage of these features. The Department of Energy also has a vested interest in seeing these features come in to heavy use. What is important to understand is that neither of these entities are necessarily earning money from pushing energy saving products. Yes, their bias is towards these products; but what do they stand to gain by being dishonest about it? Nothing. It is not more money in their wallets at the end of the day. It's less emissions and more efficient energy grid use.


There will always be a few unscrupulous players at work in any industry at any given time. This is unavoidable. When we look at manufacturers of replacement windows, we see companies that have been in existence for decades; sometimes pushing a century. These manufacturers know how to meet their market and consumer demands. Virtually every manufacturer is striving to create more efficient windows and doors to offer the public sector. They continue to dump tons of money and man-hours into research, testing, and re-testing to ensure their products are doing exactly what they say they will. What company, that will remain successful, is going to pour money into a technology decade after decade and not either succeed or fail? These companies have succeeded and continue to succeed.

The Government and Power Companies

We have already discussed entities such as the EPA and DoE, but what of the rest of the government? They stand to gain nothing from encouraging the use of energy saving windows and products. Yet the Federal Government offered the 2009 Energy Star tax rebate on qualifying high-efficiency energy products. This move was done without much advance warning to manufacturers which left them scrambling to get their products tested to see if they fell within the government guidelines. It could also be viewed as a push on the manufacturers to continue to innovate and offer high efficiency products to consumers. Local power companies have a bit to gain in efficiency, but that is about it. Even still, many offer rebates on the installation of qualifying Energy Star products. These entities aren't going to make millions of dollars from pushing these products. Why would they spend money on pushing them if there was no reason to?

The Intangible

So what do we gain from the use of energy efficient windows and products? We are promised things like cleaner air, cleaner water, less pollution in general, and higher efficiency further down the road. As humans, we are not inclined to see things in this fashion. It is not that we do not care about what happens 100 years down the road; but rather we simply do not come to grip with these things until they are in our faces. That is why it is important to realize the tangible benefits that come from energy efficient windows.

The Tangible

This lost perception is likely a strong reason why the government and different agencies have created tangible perks for getting energy efficient windows installed. You may not be able to see the heat that is transferring through your single-pane window, but you can surely see a check going into your bank account from a rebate. With proper installation, upgraded energy efficient windows can shave upwards of 20% or more off of heating and cooling bills. That money is the tangible that most people will see and look at when considering energy efficient windows.

Energy efficient windows are not a fad nor are they a fly-by-night offering from some unheard of company. Many large players have invested a lot of their money into researching and creating these products. With watchdogs such as the Environmental Protection Agency and National Fenestration Ratings Council, consumers can rest assured that products are delivering what they have promised to deliver.

As a consumer, you are likely reading this text and thinking a majority of it is opinion trying to sell you a product. In this case, we at are not trying to sell you on anything other than idea. We are not endorsing a particular brand or pushing a given product through this text. Energy efficient windows are the way of the future. They put money back in your pocket, help you save money on energy bills, and help cut power companies cut emissions and increase efficiency.

Your replacement windows are a long-term investment into your home. It is important to think past the sales process and immediate future when deciding on them. That long-term future includes those intangibles that we as consumers have difficulties relating to.

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