When we bought our house 7 years ago, we recognized that the house really needed new windows and siding. We had to do the roof first, and in the interim, installed WindowQuilts to cut our heating bills until we could get new windows. This year, with the increasing price of oil, we're finally getting the windows and siding done.
I took this picture that shows the downstairs windows replaced with the upstairs window still original. From the outside the difference is not terribly apparent, but from the inside the result is striking. Not only do the rooms receive more light, you can actually see out the windows. I find myself standing by windows and looking out purely for the novelty of being able to. The old windows were dirty and essentially impossible to clean. The new windows are sparkling clean and clear and seem to bring the outside inside, which makes all of the rooms seem larger and brighter.
There is a notable reduction in drafts as well. I can sit by the window with the windowquilt open and not get a chill from the breeze blowing in. We anticipate the new windows will substantially reduce our heating costs.
The siding should be done sometime over the next couple of weeks. I'll be sure to post some followup pictures then.