Energy Conservation Ideas for the Home

More Thoughts on Preparing for Winter: The Windows

eco friendly window treatments and shadesWe’ve been beating this drum for a week or so now, urging homeowners to get a bit more involved this year with winterizing their homes. It makes sense for the environment and it makes sense for the bottom line with your monthly energy bills, so either way you find motivation, prepping your home is a good thing.

Today we look at windows specifically, and what kinds of tips and tricks are out there for preparing the home for the cold and rainy season, when it comes to energy savings. Some statistics note that as much as 25% of your home heating and energy bills end up paying for whatever your windows do, or more precisely, what they don’t do. That means, poorly sealed or old single pane windows let heat out of the house, don’t prevent cold air from coming into the house, and so ultimately require more energy to be used to maintain comfortable temperatures during the winter. Here’s a few tricks you can try to change that around.

Winter Window Tips for Every Kind of Budget

If you’re flush with cash at the moment, and not worried about doing your holiday shopping in another week or so, and were maybe even planning to upgrade your home windows, then there’s good news. When you replace older, outmoded single-pane windows, and install newer double-pane windows, you will see the savings reflected almost immediately in your monthly bills. Double paned windows prevent heat from escaping, and if you opt for gas-filled windows, they are often coated in such a way that they further prevent heat loss from the home. New windows should have a low U-factor, which will provide homeowners with far better insulation where they need it most.

One tier down in terms of pricing may involve window treatments, rather than the windows themselves. Often thought of as being a purely cosmetic or aesthetic option, new window shades or blinds can provide some basic level of insulation, as will heavier curtains that can be closed once the sun goes down. When you put on the heat at night to keep you and your family cozy, the extra barrier or layer of protection from the window treatments and drapes can help to keep the heat from escaping through the windows.

Let’s jump another step down in price and level of effort, and talk turkey here. If you can’t afford to or are not remotely interested in replacing existing windows, then there are options available. Purchase a roll of heavy-duty clear plastic sheeting, often referred to as visqueen, and double up on it as many times as necessary to add several layers of insulation. Using clear plastic film or tape that is easily removable, tape the plastic sheets into the inside via the window frames themselves. This can help to reduce drafts that come in due to poor insulation, or thinner, old single-pane glass windows.

In some cases, local utility companies offer rebates or savings inventives for their customers who are willing to increase energy efficiency in the home, so check with your energy providers as another resource for funding.

Resources Online for Window Tips When It Comes to Weatherizing the Home

From Energy.gov, Home Energy Efficiency QnA, which features some talk about what to do with older home windows, and another article on Air Sealing Your Home, featuring more info.

From an Earth Day post somewhere in the past, a Top 10 list on home energy efficiency, with a few tips on windows.

With a whopping list of 75 Energy Conserving Ideas, there are bound to be a few regarding home windows.

Winter Energy and Money Saving Ideas from the Southwest Gas Corporation.

And finally, more Energy Tips from NV Energy.

[Photo Via: becoming-home.com]

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