If you live in a cold climate, you likely do whatever you can to reduce winter heat loss and cut down on drafts as well as heating expenses. One of the best ways to do this is through your windows. Here are three tips to help you get ready for the coming arctic air.
Install New Windows
If you live in an old house with old windows, you are likely paying a lot to heat as well as cool your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, approximately 25-30 percent of your annual heating and cooling bill goes to this loss. Older windows are not as energy-efficient as windows manufactured today. They also have gaps around them, allowing the air to come through.
New windows with a low e-coating can help tremendously. These are windows that are treated to reduce the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that can pass through the glass. They can also help protect your furnishings as ultraviolet light will fade your furnishings, curtains, and carpeting.
Weatherize Your Windows
If new windows aren't in your budget this year, you can still reduce energy loss by weatherizing your windows. This is done by making sure the casement around the window is insulated and sealed as well as employing other energy-saving measures, such as installing door sweeps or applying plastic film over the windows.
You can use do-it-yourself products, or you can hire a window professional to come and do an energy audit and window weatherization for you. Some low-income homeowners may also qualify for government weatherization programs that contract with local businesses or agencies to perform services for free or at a reduced cost.
Choose the Right Window Treatments
When you dress your windows with the right window treatments, you can dramatically reduce the amount of heat loss or gain, depending on the season. Below are a few window treatment options that reduce heat loss.
- Insulated Windows Shades
Shades don't necessarily have to darken your room. You can get your choice of light-filtering shades that are opaque and still allow natural light to filter through, or you can opt for room-darkening shades, which will darken the room considerably. These are particularly good for bedrooms. Three-dimensional honeycomb shades are a good option.
- Wooden Shutters
Wooden shutters are manufactured with hollow slats. This additional air space serves as added insulation. The slats can be tilted to allow natural light in as desired.
- Insulated Draperies
Heavy draperies with an insulated backing can keep cold winter air currents from coming into your home. These air currents can often cause a chill, triggering the heat to kick in.