When it comes to windows, many homeowners only think about making changes to the aesthetics. Few people realize window insulation plays a major role in your home’s comfort and energy efficiency, and could be costing you hundred of dollars each year.
In the summer, windows let in light and heat that keeps the air conditioning running, and in the winter warm air escapes out of windows, creating a year-round drain on your energy bills. In total, US Department of Energy estimates windows cause $35 billion dollars in annual energy loss.1
While replacing windows may seem like a logical solution, it can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, for most people there’s smaller changes that can be made to keep outside air from entering their home and running up heating and cooling costs.
Home maintenance expensive enough without high utility costs, so we’ve put together this guide to help you save on your energy bills. For most, it’s as simple as assessing the windows in your home and completing a few DIY tasks. But some homes require more complex work on windows to bring them to energy efficient status, in which case we’ve also included some tips on how to hire a window professional.Home Renovation Services Near Me.
Caulking and weather stripping can be a simple weekend project. Fill in stationary cracks, gaps, and joints with caulk. Use weather stripping to insulated parts of the window that move. All you need is caulk and a caulk gun, which shouldn’t cost more than $5-10.Use plastic window insulation film
Covering your windows with plastic can reduce the amount of heat lost during the cooler months. Plastic window film can be purchased at any major hardware store. The directions are simple and all you need is a hair dryer to ensure a strong seal. Clear plastic window insulation film usually costs less than $10 per box.Install window treatments and coverings
Awnings, blinds, drapes, and curtains can dramatically improve your windows’ insulation. Awnings go on the outside of your home to provide shade to the window. You can find metal, wood, and acrylic awnings that provide up to 77% protection from solar heat gain.
Blinds are a more effective options for protecting against heat gain. They can help reduce heat gain by up to 45%. Medium colored drapes that aren’t too light or dark and have plastic backings can also impact both heat gain and heat loss. To maximize their efficiency, hang drapes as close to the window as possible.3Research new window options
While you may not be able to install them yourself, you can learn more about the best options for replacement windows. This will also help you have a better idea of how much you should expect to pay for a professional installation. The National Fenestration Rating Council labels new windows with energy efficiency information. Check out the National Fenestration Rating Council’s website to learn how to decode the new labels in your search for the best window option for you.
Using a professional window installer means the job will be done correctly the first time. Professionals can also look at other areas of your home, such as your doors and siding, to let you know how well insulated the entire structure is. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value report, replacing 10 x 3-by-5-foot windows with insulated wood replacements costs about $11,000. While this is an expensive project, windows rarely need to be replaced, and homeowners recoup close to 80% of the cost of replacement when they sell. 5** Warning ** Become very familiar with water-proofing techniques around windows when they are replaced or installed in new construction. If done incorrectly, you will have moisture intrusion that can create dry rot, mold and water leaks into the house which may take years to manifest and be very expensive to repair.
Be sure to take advantage of your DIY options to help you seal up and insulate your windows to minimize energy loss and costs. If you find that your own handiwork isn’t enough, don’t be afraid to reach out and consult a professional. You’ll save energy, money, and remove those pesky drafts from your home.Home Renovation Services Near Me.Sources