Windows plays a crucial role in improving a home’s energy efficiency. The Department of Energy in the United States reported that they account for 25-30% of heat loss that can reach up to 45% during winter despite only occupying 10% of a home’s surface area.
Considering they’re among the various elements influencing energy consumption, windows should be energy-efficient. It won’t only be budget-friendly for the homeowners but also economically-friendly.
In this article, we’ll explore practical and accessible ways to make your windows energy-efficient, providing you with a more cost-effective and sustainable living environment.
Replacing your old windows is one of the most effective ways to increase their energy efficiency. While it requires quite a sum of money, it’s still more cost-effective compared to the energy and repair costs one can spend on windows that are a couple of decades old.
Thanks to advancements in window technology, newer models are significantly more energy-efficient than their older counterparts. Considering that windows last anywhere from 15 to 50 years, it may be a prudent decision to invest in updated, energy-efficient models.
The costs associated with window replacement can vary, but you can generally expect to pay between $200 and $1,200 per window. These include installation fees ranging from $200 to $400 per window. It puts the average total cost per window at around $800.
If you’re keen on incorporating energy-efficient windows, be prepared for a slight uptick in costs. On average, energy-efficient windows can range from $400 to $1,800 per window, with an additional $200 to $400 per window for installation. It brings the total cost per window to approximately $1,200.
Opting for high-efficiency windows, equipped with features like triple-pane glass and low-emissivity (low-E) coatings, may further elevate your costs. While it may seem like a significant investment, the long-term benefits in terms of energy savings and increased comfort can make this expense worthwhile.
Upgrading your windows requires a significant financial undertaking. Thankfully, alternative financing options are now widely available and easily accessible. You can even take out online loans within minutes. Be sure to take advantage of these financing solutions and opt for an option that aligns with your budget and financial goals.
Begin your journey to energy efficiency by selecting the appropriate window type for your climate. Double-pane or triple-pane windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings are excellent choices. These coatings minimize heat transfer and enhance insulation, contributing to a more energy-efficient home.
Weatherstripping is a cost-effective solution to prevent drafts around your windows. One report said it only costs $5-10, but it can already help you save around 5-10% of your overall home energy bill.
Apply weather stripping along the edges to create a tight seal, minimizing air leaks. This simple addition can significantly reduce energy loss and enhance the overall efficiency of your windows.
If there are only tiny gaps or openings, caulking is your go-to solution. It can create a tight seal and prevent air from slipping through the tiny cracks. It’s typically applied on the side of your window or at the window joint.
Dress your windows with thermal curtains or blinds to provide an additional layer of insulation. These window treatments act as barriers, preventing heat from escaping during the winter and blocking out excess sunlight in the summer. By controlling the amount of natural light entering your home, you can reduce the need for artificial lighting and maintain a more stable indoor temperature.
Window films are thin, transparent sheets that can be applied to your windows to enhance energy efficiency. They work by reflecting infrared radiation while allowing visible light to pass through. Window films are a cost-effective way to improve insulation, reduce glare, and protect your furniture from UV rays.
The material of your window frames also plays a crucial role in energy efficiency. Consider upgrading to frames made from materials such as vinyl, fiberglass, or wood-clad. These materials offer better insulation properties than traditional aluminum frames, reducing the overall energy transfer through your windows.
Inspect your windows for any gaps or cracks that may be letting in external air. Use caulk or weather-resistant sealant to seal these openings effectively. This simple step can prevent unwanted air infiltration, ensuring that your heating or cooling system doesn’t have to work overtime to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
For windows that receive direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day, consider installing shades or reflective films. These solutions can help reduce solar heat gain, keeping your home cooler without relying heavily on air conditioning. By managing heat gain, you decrease the strain on your cooling system and contribute to a more energy-efficient home.
Making your windows energy-efficient is a practical and rewarding home project. Not only does it enhance the comfort of your home, but it also positively impacts your energy bills and reduces your environmental footprint. If unsure how to start, it’s highly recommended to research first or, better, seek professional help.
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