Most homeowners love the idea of lots of large windows in their home (we totally get it, Squeegee Pros loves windows too!), but if those windows aren’t energy efficient, it can mean bad news for your home’s heating and cooling bills.
Most of the energy loss from windows is due to air infiltration, which is when hot or cold air from the outside leaks into your home. While ceilings, floors, doors, attics and basements are also common culprits of air infiltration, The Department of Energy reports that inefficient windows can account for “10% to 25% of your heating bill by letting heat out.”
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your windows more efficient, which will be great for both the environment and your wallet!
1. Repair Your Existing Windows
As we mentioned, most of the heat lost through windows is due to drafts (or air leaks) and not actually through the pane of glass itself. Older windows are especially likely to leak heat due to cracked panes or frames, spaces between the glass and the frame or windows that don’t close properly.
In most cases you don’t need to replace your entire window–you can get energy efficient windows by investing $1,000 or so in insulation, sealing air leaks, and making other repairs. Find out if your window has any of the issues above and then make the necessary repairs.
- Use caulking or weather stripping to make sure your windows are properly sealed, which will help keep in the warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer.
- Switch out single pane glass with double pane glass and look for windows with “Low-e” coating. Low-e coating is a nearly invisible layer on the glass that has great insulation properties that keeps your heat inside in the winter and cold air inside in the summer.
- Try adding a storm window or window inserts. If your home has vinyl or aluminum windows that are leaky, these typically can’t be repaired because they are all one piece. But if you add a storm window with Low-e coating it can go a long way toward getting more energy efficient windows.
2. Install Window Coverings
Another way to improve the efficiency of your windows is by installing window coverings. Window coverings can also be a charming and architecturally appealing addition to your home when done right (as window washers we always have curb appeal on the brain!). Window coverings do a great job of keeping heat in, decreasing leakage and creating shade during the summer.
Look into these different types of window coverings to determine which is best for your needs.
- Internal blinds
- External blinds
- Drapes or curtains hung as closely to your window as possible
3. Install New Windows
An obvious way to improve the efficiency of your windows is to install all new energy efficient windows. Replacing the windows on your entire home can cost between $5,000 to $15,000, however, in the long run it will increase the value of your home and cut heating and cooling costs.
Do your research to find out which windows will work best for your needs and the climate you live in. Are you more concerned about keeping your home warm or cool? The Department of Energy recommends installing ENERGY STAR®-qualified windows. You should install double-pane windows with high-performance glass that has low-e or spectrally selective coatings. In colder climates, gas-filled windows with low-e coatings will reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, installing windows with spectrally selective coatings will reduce heat gain.
When putting in new energy efficient windows, always make sure they are properly installed by a professional or someone with sufficient experience (and make sure the manufacturer’s instructions are being followed to a tee!)
4. Plant a Tree
Shade is your friend when it comes to keeping your house cool! In the summer, sun streaming through your windows can heat up your home significantly. Try strategically planting a tree on the side of your house that gets the most sun. Plant a deciduous tree that will provide shade in the summer but lose its leaves in the winter to let sun into your windows.
Hopefully these tips will help you transform your home from drafty to cozy and make outrageous energy bills a thing of the past. Squeegee Pros’ team of trained window washers is always here to make those new or repaired energy efficient windows sparkle and shine! For more information on the services we offer check out our residential and commercial services pages or contact us at 980-359-0181.