How To Replace a Window For Free

We all want a home that’s beautiful, clean and affordable, along with fully functioning doors and electrical appliances. But there is one immensely important factor that can truly drain our bank accounts every year if left neglected – damaged / broken windows. Strong windows are essential for energy efficiency.

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The reason for this is quite simple. Much like a damaged outer wall, if there are any cracks, holes or other flaws with a window, the air from outside will get in, and the AC / heating will quickly escape. This inevitably results in a lot of wasted electricity and higher electric bills, which is completely undesirable regarding budget and environmentalism. Moreover, with the rising costs of living, paying for a window replacement is expensive and puts a real strain on those who are already struggling with low income as it is.

Fortunately, however, there is now a way to get a window replaced for free if you qualify for a special federal government grant, such as the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE). So how does one go about this? Listed below are the concrete eligible cases, and the steps that must then be followed correctly to successfully obtain this grant.


Step 1: Check Your Overall Eligibility

There are several other program options available that offer window replacement grants, but WAP is most well-known. Be advised that conditions for federal grant programs may vary from state to state.

There are a number of conditions that must be met in order to obtain the WAP federal grant in particular, no matter which state you live in. You must provide proof of US residency and citizenship, meet one or more of the following:

– You’re aged 60 or above.

– Your household has of a disabled person.

– You’re receiving supplemental security income (SSI)

– You’re receiving monetary aid to help care for underage children.

– Your annual earnings don’t go above 200% of the poverty level figure, depending on the size of your household. For instance, if you live alone, your annual income must be $27,180 or less. If you live with others, this cap will be increased, depending on how many people live in the home.

The poverty guideline in the 48 contiguous states plus the District of Columbia, starts at $13,590 a year for one person, and goes up to $46,370 with 8 persons. Any additional people will get an extra $4,720 added on. In Alaska, the yearly maximum is $16,990 for one person and 58,290 for 8 individuals. Additional household members will get 5,900 added on. In Hawaii, the maximum annual amount for one person is 15,630, and increases to $53,640 for 8 people. Additional members get an extra $5,430 added on.

Step 2: Find Your Local Weatherization Provider

Firstly, if you live in a rented house or apartment, you will need to contact your landlord to verify if you would be allowed to replace the window before you can proceed. Chances are that your landlord will be in favor of this grant for two reasons. Firstly, installing a new, fully functional and strong window will definitely give the place a somewhat higher value, and thus benefit the landlord in the future when other potential renters come to check out the place. Secondly, it also saves the landlord a substantial amount of money in the long run.

If you get the green light, go ahead and visit your city’s website and look for the list of local organizations or providers that offer weatherization services under the “How to Apply” section. Some states offer an online application option directly from their website, but most will require you to contact the local providers. This list is typically organized by county and provides you with an address, phone number, and/or website.

Step 3: Finish Up The Weatherization Application Process

Once you have located your nearest weatherization provider, simply contact them to start the application process. Your local provider will require proof of income for the prior year, such as pay stubs or social security payments. For further information and details regarding proof of income, you can refer to HHS’ Poverty Income Guidelines and Definition of Income.

Step 4: Prepare The Window Area For Weatherization Services

Last but not least, if everything checks out and it has been determined that you are fully eligible, it is highly recommended that you make some preparations in your home before the servicemen arrive to install the new window.

If at all possible, try to make sure that there is no furniture or other large objects at or near the area of the window that can get in the way. This can prolong the process and take more time away from your day than necessary. In addition, this would also be immensely appreciated by the installers, as they are on a set schedule and have other projects to complete that day.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that there is a priority list, such as seniors, sick, disabled or injured individuals, etc. So, depending on your specific case, you might need to wait a number of days prior to installation.

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