When it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency and lowering your energy bills, your windows are going to be one of the most important places to look. A property’s windows account for almost 30% of heat or cooling loss. This means in the summer when you are running your air conditioner nonstop, your windows are allowing much of that cool air to escape. Similarly in the cold winters, any warmth your heating unit has generated in your home can leak out through your windows.
Replacing your windows is one of the best things you can do to improve your energy efficiency. But, if you’re not ready to replace your windows yet, there are many ways to elevate the energy efficiency of your windows temporarily until you’re ready for a replacement.
How Can I Improve the Windows I Already Have?
If your home’s windows are still in fairly good condition, improving their energy efficiency is going to be a much more affordable process. These methods can increase your home’s heat or cold retention and in turn, save you a lot of money on your next energy bill. Some of these techniques include:
- Check for Air Leaks – Your first step should be checking the seal around your window and your window frames. While much of your temperature control is going to pass through the glass itself, any actual cracks or leaks are going to significantly hurt your energy efficiency.
- Weatherstripping – Adding your own weather stripping can be a fantastic do-it-yourself technique for improving the energy efficiency of your windows. This can help plug leaks, and extend the life of your window frames.
- Window Coverings – Window coverings can assist with the loss of energy by reducing nighttime and date time temperature loss. Window coverings can be interior or exterior features, including blinds, screens, awnings, curtains shades, and shutters.
- Storm Window Panels – Storm windows are not the same as they use to be. These days storm windows are designed to be indistinguishable from the existing property and are permanently affixed to your window, as opposed to being removed for cleaning periodically. Your storm windows are also fantastic for energy efficiency, and can save you 10%-30% on your heating and cooling costs depending upon your pre-existing window installation.
- Solar Control Film – Solar window films and tints are designed with two main functions in mind; retaining energy in your home and dispersing solar energy outside your house. Solar Control Film is a great way to absorb unwanted light and heat in your house while improving the energy efficiency of your windows.
All of these different options make great ways to extend the life of the windows you already have, while increasing your home’s energy efficiency over time. Eventually, though, you will have to replace your windows when they break, become outdated, or can no longer be repaired well enough to retain or disperse heat. When that happens, you still have an option before replacing your entire window and frame.
Replacement Windows – If I Don’t Want to Replace my Window Frames
Often referred to as replacement windows or retrofit windows, this option involves a new window pane that is directly inserted into your pre-existing window frame. It’s a great option for updating your home and replacing old windows that are causing your energy bills to rise.
Replacement windows do not require you to put a new frame into your home. Instead, they are created to fit within your preexisting window frame and replace your old window panes. This option allows you to increase your home’s energy efficiency, update your home style or aesthetic, and increase the value of your property without having to fully replace your windows.
Replacement windows also tend to be less expensive than full window installations. While the window itself costs more when it is a replacement window, the actual installation method is cheaper and can be done quicker, saving as much as 20% on the project.
The replacement windows themselves also tend to be up to date on the most recent window improvements available. This means you can reduce leaks, retain temperature control over your home, and fit these options into the space you have available rather than having to renovate your home. At Cal Energy, we provide both retrofit and new construction windows, and are happy to provide you with a quote or more information on window replacements. Call us today to find out more.