When you talk about saving energy and going green, replacing windows is the least you would think about. Replacing windows costs a lot of money but will prove a boon in the long run. You will have a healthy, comfortable and quite home apart from the lowering of your energy bills.
Like most of the things, windows wear out with time. A thorough inspection of your windows will give you a fair idea about the condition of your windows. You can do a simple check for drafts by holding a lighted candle in front of the window edges. A flickering candle indicates drafts coming in. Inefficiently working windows which are difficult to open or close, deteriorating or warped frames, condensation on the glass is an indication of more air infiltration into your home or leakage and lack of proper insulation. This will overload your heating and cooling system, shooting up your energy bill. Weather stripping or caulking help in sealing to some extent, but are temporary fixes. They too wear out with time. Windows are said to account for almost 50 percent of heat gain or loss through your home. Replacing windows is the best option especially if you house is old and is fitted with old non energy efficient windows.
So as you replace your windows, the most important aspect you should consider is the energy efficiency apart from the aesthetics. Here are some things you would look for in an energy efficient window. Wood, fiber glass or vinyl frames provide better sealing and insulation and are more efficient than metal frames. Ensure that the windows fit tightly into the opening to avoid air infiltration. Since windows bring in light into the home, the glass used should let in more light. Look for double pane argon enhanced special purpose energy efficient glass . This helps to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter . Your home will also be quieter due to their sound reduction property. The most common problem of the curtains and upholstery fading due to harmful ultra violet rays is also eliminated with this glass. Champion windows have all these features and also have the Energy Star rating which means they meet all efficiency guidelines set by the Department Of Energy. They also have the Good Housekeeping Seal for quality and reliability. The windows carry lifetime warranty and you will have no contractor headaches as their professionals come and install the window for you.
Since replacing windows costs money, it is wise to have a home energy audit done for the whole house to eliminate other causes of heat loss or gain. Apart from windows, heat enters or escapes through attic floors, recessed light fixtures, ducts and other penetrations in to the roof or walls. Proper weather stripping, air sealing and good wall insulation is necessary along with replacing the windows to make your home energy efficient and comfortable and save significantly in your energy bills.
If you are hesitating to replace the windows because of the high cost, you need to know that the government offers low interest loans and even tax credits for installing energy efficient doors and windows and buying energy efficient appliances. With all these benefits, you will have a healthy, peaceful, energy efficient home not to forget the reduced energy bills.
So go ahead and replace your old windows with new energy efficient ones and experience the difference in your home. Enjoy the good light, quietness and warmth in your home. And then you will also have peace of mind, because you don’t have to worry about your energy bills.