One week into summer -- are you feeling it yet? Last week we kicked off our Energy Savings series by showing you how to conserve power while using kitchen appliances
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. Now we're tackling the potential energy-zappers in every room in the house: windows.
As much as 20 percent of summer heat enters your home as sunlight through windows
. Check out these clever tips on how to save a bundle and keep your home more energy-friendly.
Tip #1: Upgrade the Sealing Around Your Windows
With new windows, there's often a gap between the jamb and framing where air sneaks in. A blower door
(a powerful type of fan) and infared camera can help identify exactly where the leak is and you can then caulk the area near the casing, stool and apron
. No luck with that? Remove the casing and use spray foam around the window jamb.
Tip #2: Check That Your Windows Are Low-E
Thinking about window film as a way to buff up your windows' efficiency? If your windows are already Low emissivity (low-e
), then don't waste your time, window film won't make much of a difference
. Not sure if you've got low-e windows in the first place? Place a white sheet of paper outside and look at its reflection in the window. Seeing a white reflection? Not low-e. But if it's showing up yellow or pink than it's probably low-e. And remember this
: films are hard to remove, and because they can heat up the glass they may damage your dual-pane windows.
Tip #3: Install Energy-Efficient Replacement Windows
In the market for new windows? Your best bet are Energy Star-rated windows
. Make sure they're properly installed (shoddy work can be a major source of energy loss) and double-glazed. Yes, they're affordable, and they'll end up saving you money on cooling and
heating by helping to keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
Tip #4: Invest in a Black-Out Shade
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While window films can fall short, the best external energy saver for your windows is a simple blackout roller shade
. Make sure it's PVC-free fabric, so it's safe for kids' rooms. Other options to try
: Solar screens, roman shades or solar blinds (though it's tricky to find these without PVC).
This information is courtesy of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more tips on saving energy and greening your home, visit USGBC's Green Home Guide.