High Energy Bills? Upgrade Your Windows to Control Cooling Costs This Summer!
We all want to create a comfortable climate in our homes this summer, but single pane and older double glazed windows can push cooling costs out of control. Have you considered upgrading your existing windows?
You will find many new innovations in today’s market, designed to provide maximum efficiency and an impressive appearance.
What You Should Look For in a New Window
Talk to your window installer about the latest industry offerings, and consider your home’s exposure and the surrounding climate. Most double-glazed windows provide less insulation than triple-gazed products. For maximum performance choose a high quality triple-glazed product with low-E coating and argon gas to create an excellent barrier against heat loss.
Low-E glass comes in several grades, including high solar gain, moderate and low solar gain types. High solar gain low-E glass works well in northern climates, transmitting more solar heat through the glazing to ease heating costs. Homes in southern climates are better protected with windows manufactured from low solar gain glass, which transmit less solar heat and maintain cooler interior temperatures.
Consider the framing and spacers of your new windows as well, investing in non-metal frames and warm-edge spacers for optimum savings on both heating and cooling costs.
Professional Installation is Important
Although window quality remains the top priority for this home improvement project, professional installation is essential. Incorrect installation can offset the benefits of a premium window, reducing your savings and putting added strain on your air conditioner.
Hire an experienced window installer to put in high quality replacement windows, and ask that contractor about recommended brands suitable for your property. The contractor should carry a variety of brands, and be able to offer you a decent selection of windows in a range of styles and sizes.
Other Ways to Improve the Building Envelope
Many people take the time to winterize their homes without realizing that similar processes improve efficiency during the summer. Cut out drafts and reduce heat loss with a few quick and affordable projects designed to keep cool air in and hot air out.
Check for gaps around your doors and seal these areas with high quality caulking or foam. Heat escapes through cracks and gaps during the winter, but those spots also allow hot air to seep into your home in the summer. Creating an airtight building envelope will reduce or eliminate this exchange of air, allowing your air conditioner to reach peak efficiency.
Add window treatments to south-facing windows to block the sun’s rays during hot summer afternoons. Many people find that interior temperatures remain steady and comfortable when their blinds, shutters or curtains are closed during the day (most often while they are at work). Give your air conditioner a break by shutting the sun out during the hottest hours.
Replacement windows certainly improve the appearance of your home, but the true advantages are found inside. With proper planning and an experienced contractor on your side, this home improvement project will pay itself back within a reasonable amount of time through reduced cooling costs in the summer. Live comfortably and affordably by upgrading your windows this year.
Have you had energy star rated replacement windows recently installed on your home? How much did you energy costs go down? Have you tried the cost effective tips above to reduce your energy costs? If yes, what was your experience like?