If you've been thinking of having the windows in your home replaced, but have been putting it off for some reason, stop procrastinating. New windows could make a big impact on your home, and your wallet, but not in the ways that you might think. Here are five reasons you need to go ahead and invest in those replacement windows.

They could earn you a tax credit

You may not realize it, but Uncle Sam wants YOU to get new windows. Or, at least the US government is willing to offer you an incentive to replace your old, energy-inefficient windows with newer ones that are more energy efficient. As of 2015, the credit allows up to $200 credit against the cost of energy efficient windows.

They will save you money on heating and cooling costs

Your old windows could be costing you money all year long. If they aren't energy efficient, you could be paying more for your heating and cooling costs than you should. If you're replacing single-pane glass windows with energy-efficient ones in a 2000 sq. foot home, you can expect to save between $126-$465 per year, making an excellent return on investment.

Weatherproofing your old windows may provide a temporary boost in energy efficiency, but you'll have to do it twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer, to get any benefit. New windows eliminate all that work for you and keep your home more comfortable all year long.

They can add value to your home

It might sound counterintuitive, but if you are planning to sell your home, you might want to consider getting new windows first. Among the many home improvement projects you can undertake, the installation of new windows is one of the best choice for giving you a good return on the money you'll spend. An investment of $10,000 worth of vinyl windows can get you up to $8500 more on your asking price, so consider the expense carefully, especially if you plan on living in the home for another year or so.

They can be safer than your old windows

Older, single pane windows aren't just a menace to your energy bill; they are a real danger if they break or don't open smoothly. Most of the glass used in new windows is safety glass, which is designed to break in such a way as to not be a cutting hazard. Older panes can shatter into sharp, jagged pieces that are difficult to clean up.

If the frames of your old windows don't allow you to open them smoothly and easily, you could be putting yourself or your family members at risk if a fire were to break out in your home. New windows that operate smoothly can make your potential escape routes much safer. 

They can make your home more secure

Just as new windows reduce your risk of injury during a breakage or fire, they can also keep your home more secure. Double-glazed windows are harder to break than older, single-glazed glass, making them a less attractive target for burglars. Also, many newer windows come with locking mechanisms to help keep children from getting out and burglars from getting inside. These can range from simple thumb-close locks to actual window locks with keys, so you can choose the best style to meet your family's security needs.

New windows won't just make your home look pretty. They can help you save money, keep your belongings and family members more secure, keep the inside of your home comfortable all year long and even add value to your home. If your windows are older than 15 years, or if they don't operate smoothly, contact companies like Dr Exteriors LLC to talk about buying new ones.