YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollections

Mailbag: Nothing wrong with replacing windows

August 21, 2010

The letter that trashed window replacements makes quite a few unsubstantiated declarations ("Window repair better than replacement," Aug. 17).

It essentially said energy-efficient windows are a bad investment, not a significant improvement, because statistical studies show it takes 40 years to recover the investment and the typical replacement window fails in 20 years. Also, the writer claimed that energy invested in replacement windows is several times greater than what the windows conserve in their very short lifespan.

Where does all that come from? The claim is made that statistics demonstrate these assertions, but he fails to name the studies and identify who did them, and he doesn't say what exactly was being studied. Just one reference is cited to a weatherization pamphlet by a historic preservation trust.


Such arguments against replacement windows are not credible unless and until supported by the factual evidence of harm done by anything other than the type of aesthetic grandstanding that is used to compel Glendale homeowners to expend considerable effort and money for very little added value to their homes.

The claims of ruined architectural integrity and destroyed home values because somebody installs expensive energy-efficient replacement windows in a home are manufactured by special pleaders who want Glendale homeowners to conform to their particular notions of what is acceptable for old houses in older neighborhoods.

Replacement windows have made hundreds of thousands of older houses more comfortable and pleasant to live in, particularly in hot climates like ours, when air conditioning is either impossible or prohibitively expensive to put in.

Houses everywhere have been built and are being modified by and for the people who live in them, and whose comfort and enjoyment of their homes is at least as important as preserving the supposed architectural glories of the past.

Glendale has appropriate standards for windows. Homeowners can and do replace the windows and make reasonable home improvement choices. The Design Review Boards and the Glendale Historical Society should try to assist homeowners with timely guidance and trustworthy information instead of imposing adverse rulings or issuing questionable facts.

Susan Stephenson


Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles