In the never-ending quest to lower energy bills, sometimes homeowners overlook an important area: their windows. A significant amount of energy can be lost through your windows.
Where does this energy loss come from? Typically, there are two sources:
- Air leaks let conditioned air out and unconditioned air in. This forces your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a constant temperature. Air leaks can occur when windows aren’t properly installed. They can also just happen as a result of your house shifting and caulk shrinking over time.
- Heat transfer brings the sun’s heat inside in the summer. In the winter, it lets your furnace’s heat escape outside. Since glass has no insulating properties, heat moves through it very easily.
How can you reduce this energy loss? There are several options available.
- Seal air leaks. This may sound complicated, but it usually just involves caulk and weatherstripping. Apply caulk around your window frames. Since caulk does crack and settle over time, be sure to check your caulk periodically and reapply as needed. Weatherstripping can be used around the window sash to form a seal when it’s closed.
- Use window treatments. Blinds, curtains, and other types of window treatments make up for the insulation that glass lacks.
- Shade the outside of the window. Strategically planted trees or shrubs can keep the sun off your window and reduce heat transfer. If plants aren’t an option, awnings provide the same benefit.
- Use storm windows. Much like caulk and weatherstripping, storm windows help stop air transfer. You can choose from a broad range of different materials, types, and costs for storm windows. Just be sure to install them following the manufacturer’s directions, making sure they’re square with your current windows and form a seal.
- Upgrade to new, more energy-efficient windows. Not only can new windows give you energy savings, but they can increase your property value, as well. If you decide to investigate this option, use the Energy Star ratings to help you find energy-efficient window choices.
Want to know more about maintaining the windows in your Portland-area home? Contact Roth Heating & Cooling today.