I took a break from dissertation-writing to observe the progress of the installation of some new vinyl replacement windows in my kitchen. Besides, the sounds of hammers and electric drills are not exactly conducive to the creative muse, though the installers from Toledo Window and Door were courteous, efficient, and out of my figurative hair after only a few hours.
My wife and I decided to replace our old windows because of their draftiness, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that this investment qualifies for a federal tax credit for energy efficiency. Thus, the $1500 we needed to save to purchase four new windows will now cost us $1050 in the long run, not to mention the hundreds of dollars in energy costs per year that will no longer leak out of these windows.
We suspect that the windows will now pay for themselves in about three years, and perhaps even sooner if we have some particularly cold winters, or if global energy markets begin to creep back up in response to rising energy demand. Of course, if Israel or the United States decide to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, all bets are off on energy prices.
We deferred taking a vacation this winter in order to afford these windows. My wife and I originally toyed with the idea of traveling to Ireland for a week over the holidays, but perhaps a quiet couple of weeks in the increased warmth of our own house will be just the sort of rest we need. Lord knows I could use the time to enhance my studies on how to lose belly fat.