How Can I Make My Windows More Energy-Efficient
Windows and doors are a major source of heat loss and gain. If you live in a cold climate, you want windows that keep out the cold and prevent heat inside your home from escaping outdoors. In hot climates, the goal is just the opposite – to block solar heat before it enters your home. Here are few ways to make your windows more energy-efficient:
Replace double-pane or single-pane with triple-pane windows
The first thing to consider is replacing your single-pane or double-pane windows with triple-pane windows. Although they have a clear price premium, triple-pane windows can save you up to 50% in heating and cooling costs. They also tend to block more noise than double pane windows, which can be a huge benefit if you live in an urban area.
Install low-E coatings
You may also consider installing low-E coatings on your existing windows. A low-E coating acts as a barrier against heat transfer and protects your home from harmful UV rays that can damage your furniture and floors. You will pay less for this option than you would for new triple pane windows, but the savings will be smaller too. Low E coatings last about 20 years and can save you up to 10% in energy costs over that period of time.
Invest in new windows and doors
As your home ages, it becomes less energy efficient. Worn out seals on windows and doors can allow cold air to seep into your home. Seals that are too tight can prevent air from circulating properly and may cause condensation build up. If you notice that you need to replace weather stripping or caulking around doors or windows, a good option is to go ahead and replace the entire door or window. This is especially true if they were part of the original construction (pre-1980s) because they will likely be less energy efficient than current models.
Install storm windows
If you don’t want to replace your windows and doors, there is another easy way to cut down on heat loss: install storm windows. Storm windows provide an extra layer of insulation, which helps keep warm air inside in the winter and cool air inside in the summertime. They can reduce heat loss by 25 percent to 50 percent.
Use insulated drapes or plastic film
Another way to make your windows more energy-efficient is to use plastic film or insulated drapes. These are both easy, cheap and fairly effective at keeping the cold out in winter.
Install energy efficient window coverings
Window coverings keep heat from leaking through your windows and doors. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends using thick, lined curtains with nonmetallic backings or honeycomb shades to insulate your home’s windows in winter. The same principles apply in summer: Thick curtains block sun rays and help keep your home cooler. If you prefer blinds, choose double cell honeycomb blinds that have better insulating properties than regular blinds.
If you want to be sure you’re getting the most out of your windows and doors, there are a few things you can do. You can install weather stripping or caulking to seal any cracks in or around your windows. This will help keep warm air in during the winter and cool air in during the summer. You can also try installing blinds or heavy drapes, which can help insulate your windows and make them more energy-efficient. If you have storm windows, use them. They’ll provide an extra layer of insulation, making your home even more energy-efficient.