How to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Doors and Windows
How does saving a few hundred bucks every year in energy bills sound to you? Well, this doesn’t have to be a far-fetched idea if you make some simple changes to your doors and windows so they’re more energy efficient.
There are plenty of components in a home that can be real energy suckers that not only waste precious energy but can burn a hole in your pocket. Windows and doors are one of the biggies in this department, but there are ways that you can make them more energy efficient so you can save both energy and money.
One of the biggest ways that windows and doors can waste energy is from gaps allowing air to escape. If you’re cooling your indoor air with the help of an air conditioner, you’re paying good money for such a service. But if a good chunk of that cooled air is escaping to the hot outdoors, you’re just wasting energy used to keep your interior comfortable – and money.
One of the first things you should do is scope out all your windows and doors and check for any drafts. Some may be obvious, but others might not be very noticeable to the naked eye. In the case of the latter, you might be able to detect any drafts by placing a wet hand all around the perimeter of the window and door openings to see if you can feel any drafts.
If not, you can use a lit candle and hold it near the edges of the windows and doors. Pay attention to any changes in the flame; if it waivers or even blows out, that’s a clear sign of a draft from a gap in the frame.
Once you’ve found any gaps, seal them. It’s pretty easy to do and can end up helping you save a ton of energy and money when all is said and done. Just take some caulking or weatherstripping and apply it around the window or door frame to seal all the gaps that are causing drafts. This will help make your windows and doors much more energy efficient.
Change Your Window and Door Frames
Upgrading your frames to energy efficient ones can help improve the efficiency of your windows and doors. Just make sure that the frames you buy are energy efficient and are rated according to such efficiency. The higher the rating, the better.
Upgrade Your Current Window Treatments
Another easy way to improve the energy efficiency of your windows is by changing the window coverings. Although the windows themselves aren’t being changed or upgraded, you can still make a significant difference in how much energy you can save in your home. The appropriate window treatments can help to keep the indoor air cool without having to overwork your air conditioner.
Cellular window shades are great choices and are probably one of the most energy-efficient window treatments available. They’re designed with a unique series of cell pockets that trap air around the windows to keep the interior cool, especially throughout the hot summer months. They’re often referred to as “honeycomb shades” because of the design shape of the cells. You may also consider hanging thermal curtains to help insulate your home, as long as they cover the windows entirely.
Add a Double Glaze
Installing a double glaze on your windows might be more involved and a little more expensive, but it can really do wonders for making your windows more energy efficient. Double-glazed windows feature two glass layers separated in the middle by a layer of air to help keep cool air in. They’re also very good at minimizing condensation and can even reduce the noise coming from outside.
To add a double glaze to your windows, you’ll need to call a professional window installer to have this done for you, as it’s not a very simple task that the average homeowner can take on as a weekend DIY project. These experts will ensure that the glaze will fit like a glove and do what it’s designed to do.
Replace Exterior Door Thresholds
Any doors leading to the exterior could be allowing cool air to escape through the threshold at the bottom of the door. These thresholds are meant to keep dirt from the outside getting into your home, but they can eventually allow air to escape over time as they start to wear down. If yours is looking a little worn, consider fixing or replacing it.
The Bottom Line
You’d be amazed at how much energy is lost because of your home’s windows and doors. By making a few adjustments and improvements, you can effectively make your windows and doors much more energy efficient, saving both energy and money spent keeping your indoor air comfortable.