When I bought my house several years ago, I was eager to make the purchase and did little investigatory work on my part to inspect the quality of the house, inside and out. There were plumbing issues I would have found if I had simply bothered to look underneath the sinks during my walk-through. I even missed roof damage that looked like an old leak from years back. Granted, at 60 years old, this house is far from new, but there is a certain level of care most people expect from a home owned by the same person since it was built. In this case, the home was abused in every way possible. When my electric bills kept climbing while I struggled to keep my house cool last summer, I figured there must be something wrong somewhere in my HVAC system. The HVAC tech who inspected my house told me that my five-year-old air conditioner was in perfect shape, as well as my ductwork, which had been replaced a year after the AC unit. My problem was with my windows, the tech explained. They were old and extremely leaky, so much so that I was losing up to 40% of my energy just to the windows alone. When you have one room with an entire wall of windows, this starts to stack up tremendously. I looked around and found the best window dealers in town. After a few phone calls, I chose one company to come and do the entire house at once. It wasn’t cheap in any conceivable way, but the improvement in my heating and cooling system is immeasurable. It’s like I bought an entirely new HVAC system to replace the old one. But all I did to increase the performance in energy usage was replace old, leaky windows.