New Study Shows Window Replacement Delivers Continued Benefit Up to 12 Years Later


Columbia, MD (March 26, 2012) – The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) released a new study, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, comparing window replacement to window repair as a strategy for reducing lead paint hazards.

The study evaluated homes that either replaced or repaired windows 12 years ago to determine which strategy resulted in lower dust lead levels on floors and window sills. Dust is the primary source of lead exposure for children because of crawling and hand-to-mouth behavior.

The results showed that there was a significantly lower amount of lead dust in homes where all the windows were replaced—41% lower floor dust levels and 51% lower window sill dust levels—compared to homes where windows had been repaired. Taking into account energy efficiency and home improvement value, the net economic benefit of window replacement compared to window repair is $1,700-$2,000 more per home.

Lead-safe window replacement is an important element of lead hazard control, weatherization, renovation, and housing investment strategies. However, the study concluded that window replacement alone will often not render a home lead-safe. Instead, all lead sources should be addressed in homes, including deteriorated lead paint on the exterior of homes, lead dust on floors, lead in soil and other sources.

“Window replacement is a critical part of an overall strategy for protecting children from lead hazards in their homes. All things being equal, our study shows that when you have the choice of window repair or replacement—replacement will give you a better return on your investment for both health and your wallet,” said Rebecca Morley, Executive Director of the National Center for Healthy Housing.


The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) is the only national scientific and technical non-profit organization dedicated to creating healthy and safe homes for America’s children through practical and proven steps. NCHH develops scientifically valid and practical strategies to make homes safe from hazards, to alert low- income families about housing-related health risks, and to help them protect their children.

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