Save Energy – Replace Your Drafty Windows

February 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Depending upon the size of your home and the number of windows it contains, replacing your windows can be a sizeable project, both in work and in cost. However, when you stop and think about it, when you replace your windows, you could be killing two birds with one stone – maybe even three birds! Through window replacement, you may enjoy better energy efficiency, saving you energy and money, and possibly make your home a more comfortable place to be.

You can upgrade your home, increasing its value, and you can help the environment in the process by way of your reduced energy consumption.

Fill the Void

drafty windows Save Energy   Replace Your Drafty Windows

You might not know for sure whether it is time to replace your windows or whether this is a cost-effective option. Your windows might look just fine. The panes’ paint isn’t chipping, there are no cracks in the glass, and they appear to be doing the job for which they were designed. But the looks of your windows might not be telling you the whole story. There could be seemingly minor and quite indistinguishable issues that could be making your home very energy inefficient and not only be hurting the environment in the process but your wallet as well.

To detect gaps in window seals or around frames and glass, you might want to try holding the back of your hand near the perimeter of your window and moving it around the edges in an attempt to detect airflow. This method can be especially effective on a particularly hot, cold, or windy day.

Another option to see if your windows are performing as well as you’d like, is to use a candle or lighter flame held at a safe distance from the window (ensuring blinds, shears or other flammable material is kept at bay) to see if airflow from gaps in the window causes the flame to flicker or “dance”.

Lighten Your Environmental Impact

Another distinct advantage on several fronts to replacing your windows could be the light factor. In particularly sunny geographic locations or even just portions of your home that receive more than the usual amount of sunlight, it could be worth considering tinted or glazed windows. These types of windows are designed with a reflective ability through a process known as “glazing” and could be an option for homes in areas in which there are extremes both in hot and cold weather. Through their reflective design, using gases injected between multiple panes, these types of windows can help keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, saving you money and helping the environment throughout the year. You might also find that certain coated or tinted glass windows are also options when it comes to increasing energy efficiency.

A Double or Triple Decker

Expect to pay more initially for windows with multiple panes than just a single one. However, you could find yourself recouping your costs over the years through energy efficient savings. If you are choosing glazed windows then you will find that there are already multiple panes due to the need for gas to be injected between them for them to perform their reflective duty. However, if this is not an option, even multi-layer paned windows with air as a buffer between the panes can help to better insulate your home and reduce energy loss.

Conclusion

There are a variety of options both in types of windows, number of panes, and the kinds of treatments that can be used to enhance the energy efficiency of new windows. Considering things such as how your current windows are performing, your geographic location and weather patterns, budget, and number of windows in your home are just a few of the factors that can impact your decision. Consulting with a window professional before making a selection could help you in the process.

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