Oct , 2012

Posted by in Home Improvement | 0 Comments

Different Form of the Broken Window Fallacy

It’s kind of interesting some of the effects the recent weather has had in Connecticut, for example after the hurricane and then the Nor’easter a lot of people had to replace roofs, gutters and windows. Then a year later after everyone gets comfortable with their repairs, there’s a tornado in central Connecticut. It’s not often that bad weather like that rips through this state. Connecticut is more known for having raw, damp, and cold late falls than October snows, and Long Island and the distance from the Caribbean generally protects the state against hurricanes, tornados are rare because of the topography. The effect of this fluky weather is that it’s helped economize good decisions people would have made later.

One example is replacing the windows with better insulated ones that help reduce the energy bill. It’s hard for people to justify the expense and effort if their current windows are in good shape. Some of it’s just a purely psychological as compared to economical thing, it’s hard to view them as needing replacement because we don’t see how they fail and the loss from having old windows is imprecise and hard to detect. The advantage to a broken window (yes there is the broken window fallacy in economics, this is slightly different, as it economizes upgrades, not saying it creates spending where there wouldn’t be any) is that the insurance is going to help pay for some of the cost of repairing and replacing.

Connecticut has a tax credit system in place which can further help to economize this selection. So if you’ve had damage from any of the three storms (or this being Connecticut any small storm that shook a branch loose and took out a window or gutter) use it as an opportunity to upgrade at a lower cost than doing it without a precipitating event. At the same time, you really shouldn’t wait till you absolutely HAVE to replace to upgrade. Getting better quality windows can add up to savings over the long term as well as the aforementioned tax credit.

For gutters it’s the possibility of getting gutter guards so you don’t have to climb the ladder and clean. You don’t need to wait till a storm’s taken half of your house out. If you’ve been considering energy star windows for tax and heating reasons, do it now when there’s not a big rush coming in. The storms might have helped incentivize the transition to newer and better for some people, but honestly, this is Connecticut, it’s going to be cold all winter, and then with the exception of May and September hot, muggy, and still. Insulation can save on heat and energy.

You don’t need to wait till there’s a break in your window to want to replace them. In Connecticut you can get a tax credit to switch to energy star windows. There are also companies like V. Nanfito who will help you replace your windows at an affordable rate. Call V. Nanfito at 203.639.1634.

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