Windows and doors. In the last section, we talked a little bit about windows. In this part of the video, we’ll take a closer look and see how we can make them even more energy efficient. Windows account for 10 to 25% of your home’s heating bill, especially in colder climates like ours. Even when properly cogged, windows can lose quite a bit of heat just through the glass so it’s important to do whatever you can to make them less wasteful. If you have an older home, you may have inefficient single pane glass in your windows. If you do, you might want to think about replacing them with newer ones that are multi-paned and ENERGY STAR qualified. In some cases, however, you may simply want to keep the windows you have but make them work better. One of the best ways to improve your existing windows is to add new or used storm windows. These simple additions can reduce window heat loss by 50%, so they can be a good choice for many people.
As another option, you can reduce heat loss and air leaks by covering your windows with shrink-wrapped plastic. Although it’s a temporary solution and not very durable, shrink wrapping the inside of your windows can be an inexpensive way to keep the cold out and the heat in. Similarly, you can make your doors more efficient by adding new or used storm doors.
So far, we’ve seen a few ways to make a window or door more efficient, but there’s also a few ways to use windows and doors more efficiently. For example, any time you’re running your air conditioner or furnace, be sure all your windows, storm windows and doors are closed and locked. By locking your windows and doors, you get the tightest possible seal and minimize air leaks. During the winter months, try to keep your curtains and shades closed. This will add an extra layer of insulation to your windows and keep your house warmer. But, there’s one exception to this rule. If it’s sunny on a cold winter day, you may want to open up any shades that let sunlight in, especially on the south side of your home. Sunlight can really help to warm up your house so try to take advantage of that solar power during the winter months if you can.
On the other hand, during the hot summer months, you’ll want to keep sunlight out so keep your shades closed during the day, especially on the east and west sides of your house where sunlight is at its brightest. Better yet, stop the sun from getting inside by shading the outside with trees or awnings, especially on the east and west sides. Shade trees will keep your home several degrees cooler in the summer so it’s definitely a good idea to add a few if possible.
Windows and doors can be one of the least efficient parts of the home. However, there are many things we can do to make a difference such as installing high efficiency, ENERGY STAR qualified windows or installing storm windows or plastic on existing windows. Even simple things like opening or closing shades can help keep your home more comfortable and keep your energy dollars from going right out the window.