Windows remains arguably the most debated architectural feature in the home. They contribute a lot to the esthetics of a house and are considered the house’s eyes and soul. Many homeowners usually have concerns with making changes to the windows because it impacts the house’s aesthetic.
However, windows are the main culprits in heat exchange and ultimately increase heating and cooling costs. Experts estimate that approximately 25% of total heat loss happens through the windows. Anyone keen on improving their home’s energy efficiency will consider looking for ways to make their windows more energy efficient.
There are different ways of making your windows more energy efficient. Some of them can be easy and inexpensive, while others can put a dent in your wallet. The following are seven ways to make your property more energy efficient by making changes to the windows.
1. Seal Up Cracks to Prevent Drafts
Cracks and gaps in the windows can be a big challenge as they allow cold air in, lowering your home’s energy efficiency. They can also cause major issues, especially if your home is old and the windows haven’t had repairs for a long time. Applying caulk and weather-stripping to all the frames of your windows can be an easy solution to the problem.
Many weather-stripping materials and caulks can last for a long time, but you need to check them regularly to see how they hold up. A simple way to check for any drafts is by holding a candle close to the windows’ edges. Any form of bending or moving of the flame indicates seeping air, which you need to control.
2. Install Some Awnings to Block the Sun’s Rays
Awnings reduce direct sunlight from getting into your house. They are placed above the windows as a sunblock. According to the US Department of Energy, awnings are an excellent way to effectively reduce the solar heat gained through the windows by more than 70% when placed properly.
Awnings are usually made from a wide range of materials, including metal, canvas and synthetic fibers. When choosing the right material for your awning, ensure you select a durable material that serves your purpose. It would be best to go for synthetic fibers because their newer versions are fade resistant and mildew resistant. You can also choose a foldable material to allow some sunlight in during the colder seasons.
3. Add Window Films
Adding tinted window films to your windows can also be an effective way to minimize the amount of heat getting into your house. You can either choose temporary or permanent tint treatment, depending on your locality. If your home is in a relatively warm region all year, permanent film treatment can be the best choice for you.
However, if you reside in a place that experiences cold winters, you can go for temporary film treatments. You can remove these window treatments in the winter months to benefit from a little house warming from the sun. Film treatments are pretty easy to install, and you can do it yourself, or better still, have a professional do it for you. Keep in mind that tinted films will reduce your windows’ visibility.
4. Replace Your Windows
Older windows are quite poor in terms of energy efficiency, and replacing them with modern energy-efficient windows can be a big stride towards achieving your home’s energy efficiency. Over the last three decades, technological advancements have seen window manufacturers design windows three to four times more energy efficient than standard conventional windows.
However, energy-efficient windows can be costly. Their price range can be quite high, with most energy star-rated windows costing between $270 and $800 per window, including the labor costs. If your budget allows it, though, replacing your old windows is one of the best ways to make your residence more energy-efficient, saving you lots of money in the long run.
5. Install a Storm Window
If replacing your old windows with energy-efficient ones is beyond your budget, installing storm windows can be an alternative. Besides being almost as effective as double-paned windows, its cost can be as low as an eighth of the cost of a new energy-efficient window.
Storm windows act as a buffer between your windows and outdoor weather. They minimize air leakages and can also act as an excellent sound insulator. You can choose to have your storm window installed temporarily as removable panels or permanently. There are major types of storm windows to choose from on the market. They include exterior wood, interior “insulated panels,” exterior triple track aluminum and interior acrylic magnetic seal panels.
6. Invest in Thermal Curtains
Curtains are among the most attractive additions to your house because they come in many colors, patterns and fabrics. Besides being a beautiful addition, your choice of curtain can be the difference between your house’s good and poor energy efficiency. When shopping for curtains, it’s advisable to go for curtains with the added advantage of heat conservation.
Thermal curtains are made using fabrics that have poor heat-transfer properties. When placed over your windows, thermal curtains can greatly reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows, saving you some dollars on heating costs.
7. Install Window Shutters
Window shutters can be an excellent thermal insulator when closed. Closing shutters creates a pocket of air between the windowpanes and the shutter, acting as an insulator. Shutters can either be installed on the inside or the outside of the windows. However, it is preferable to have them installed on the window’s outer side as they can take up your house space when installed in the interior. The effectiveness of the shutters you choose to install depends on the material used. Some of the materials used in making shutters include medium density fiber (MDF), synthetic foam, vinyl and wood.
Windows are a significant area through which heat is either lost or gained. Making them more energy efficient can mean saving your hard-earned cash on utility bills. Energy-efficient windows will also help you play a role in conservation. The list above outlines some of the major ways you can make your windows more energy efficient.
However, your windows are not the only areas that need to be checked for energy efficiency. If you intend to make your home more energy efficient, you may need to contract an energy auditor to perform a complete energy audit for your home. Wondering where to start? At The Cooling Company, we will be happy to help.
We have a vibrant team of experts that serves the Las Vegas area and its surroundings. Our technicians can easily identify loopholes in your windows where warm air is getting lost. We can then create customized solutions for you. We also offer air conditioning services, heating services, home air quality services, water quality services and plumbing services. If you require further assistance in making your property energy efficient, please contact us, and we will be happy to serve you.