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Newbie & really bad windows / energy costs - need help

14 years ago

I am a new (first-time) homeowner (4 yrs now) in an area I'm not used to, and our windows just suck the cold in -in winter, and suck the heat in -in the summer.

We live in 'high desert' area of Southern California. This means we are high in elevation...thus, winter plus winds get very cold, summer is very hot.

We have side-slider type cheap windows with alum framing all around. (The house was built in 1978)

Our gas bill (heating bill) was $270.00 this last month - and that after putting in new auto thermostat last year - with setting from 66 - 68 degrees. (It feels colder here b'cuz of ocean & wind)

I have cut down everywhere I laundry, no baths/showers, dish washing...until absolutely necessary. (lol, I know, not good) We are basically retired, so at home all the time.

I have never had to even think about window replacements in past. I've had several telemarketing calls this past year from a company 'down the hill' (meaning the temps there are different from 'up here' - I know, because I used to live right there!... who is very eager to get to me and my $$$$$

I initially had set up an appointment for them to come give estimates. When they called next day and changed the app't date/time, I bailed out and have not allowed them to come. (I pre-expected high-pressure sales and the fact that they use the 'approved by gas co' as a selling point...with rebates or something)

There are two local window installers/replacement companies that I am aware of so far (b'cuz of their advos on TV!).

I don't know where to start shopping. I can't see us doing this immediately - nor even all 9 or 10 windows at once. But on the other hand, the gas/electric bills are less then devine.

First thing I guess I need is info on what exactly it takes to replace windows? far as access? We have some very heavy furniture, and a lot of 'clutter'.

How much inside access is needed?...and why?

How much outside access is needed?

We don't have any tall windows or anything fancy, but we DO have a sliding glass door in a room that we spend most of our time - the coldest room in the house!

Well, I hope someone can help start me off in the right direction. I'm sure I'll have more questions later.

Thx in advance!

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