Double-glazing windows trap a layer of air between two sheets of glass, creating an insulating barrier that retains heat, stops condensation and helps reduce outside noise. Although window replacement can be costly, programs are in place to defray material expenses. In the UK, many areas offer double-glazing window grants, and in the US an Energy Star tax credit is available from the Internal Revenue Service. With energy costs on the rise, homeowners can find monetary incentives for installing double glazed windows that keep the home quieter and warmer.
Double-glazed windows use low emissivity glass, which lets sunlight pass through but prevents heat from escaping, creating a highly efficient energy-saving window. Double-glazed windows reduce heating costs significantly over the long run, and your home will leave a smaller carbon footprint. Also, adding double-glazed windows as a home improvement strategy will increase the overall property value of your home.
In the UK, government and local authorities may offer double-glazed window grants for home improvements. Awards are based on age, local authority and whether you claim benefits. Visit EnergySavingTrust.org.uk for more information, as well as help and advice on all energy-saving matters and what grant programs are in effect. In the US, you may qualify for a tax credit equal to 30% of window costs or up to £975 as of 2009. Consult a tax professional for additional information
The UK and US both have compliance rules to qualify for a grant or tax credit. In the UK, the installation must be registered with the Local Authority Building Control, and installers must belong to FENSA, BSI or the Certass Glazing Scheme. Also, windows must meet efficiency standards regulated by the government with separate requirements in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the US, windows must adhere to Energy Star guidelines, they must be manufacturer certified and all documents must be filed to qualify. The credit does not include installation, so as a DIY project, you'll get the most out of your double-glazed windows in the seasons to come.