There are several reasons that you may have started to notice an increase in your heating and cooling costs. While you may not be able to do anything about rate increases from your utility company, you can take steps to ensure that your home becomes energy efficient. One of the first things that you may want to consider is the condition of your windows. This is one of the main places you lose and gain a lot of air. The good news is, if it is time to replace your windows, there are numerous ways you can pay for them.

Home Equity Loan Or A Home Equity Line Of Credit

If you have been in your home for a while, or you were able to purchase your home below market value, you probably have equity or value in your home. Although you can use this equity for almost anything, this can be a great way to pay for your home improvement projects. You can tap into this money two different ways.

Home Equity Loan - This is a closed end loan that is normally for a set amount of money. It normally has a fixed interest rate that currently is averaging approximately 5%. Your exact terms may be higher or lower depending on your lender, your credit, and where you live. 

With a home equity loan, if your windows cost $15,000, your lender will finance that exact amount, and set up a payment plan that you will pay over the life of the loan. You will have a set payment each month for a certain number of months. Any additional money you need will have be approved by the bank and may have to go through the same approval process

Home Equity Line Of Credit - Although a home equity line of credit uses the same equity or value in your home, the way the financing is done is slightly different. Your lender will establish a line of credit based upon your request, as well as the value in your home. This line of credit normally comes with a revolve interest rate, which is currently averaging approximately 5.2%. Once this line of credit is established, you control how much and when you use it. 

For example, if you establish a $15,000 line of credit to pay for your windows, once you begin to pay it off, you will have money sitting in your line of credit that you can use again. You can use these funds to pay for something else without having to go back to the bank to be approved. 

Company Financing

Window companies want your business. They are often even willing to finance them for you at very attractive rates. Sometimes this is through in-house financing, a special credit card, or third party financing.

Some companies will even offer you loans at a zero interest rate for a specified period of time. These may be stated as "12 months same as cash," or whatever terms that are available. Just be careful when you are accepting these terms that you understand them and are going to be able to abide by them, because if not you may find yourself saddled with a high interest loan. When you get estimates, ask your salesperson about what type of financing that the company may offer. 

Credit Cards

If you have good credit, you may want to consider opening up a credit card for the purpose of paying for your windows. In addition to being able to find cards that have low interest rates, you may even be able to reap additional rewards for financing your windows this way.

If you choose to use a credit card, make sure that you are committed to abide by the terms and conditions of the card to keep your interest rate low. If not, a large purchase such as this could become quite costly over time.

Replacing your windows is a great investment in your home. Not only will you save money on your utility costs, but you may be able to offset the cost of this project with tax credits, rebates and other types of incentives offered by the government, as well as your utility company. These valuable benefits can be a great way to pay off your windows a little faster. For more information, contact a company like Miller Roofing & Guttering Inc.