With environmental concerns and a greater demand for energy efficiency due to increasing populations and advancing technology, conserving electricity and creating a more environmentally-friendly home is at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.
In addition, electricity is becoming more expensive every day and many homeowners are looking for ways to save costs. Some use alternative sources of energy, such as solar power or wind turbines, while others limit the use of electric appliances to reduce their energy consumption.
Windows and doors provide a source of ventilation in your home, letting outside air in, and indoor air to escape. They create heat loss in the cold months when the heaters are used, and heat gain in the summer. Ensuring that your windows and doors are energy-efficient helps you save on energy and reduces the cost of your electricity bills.
If you live in a drafty home, or the existing windows and doors don’t shut properly, energy efficiency will be poor and it is probably time to replace them. While replacement doors and windows can be more costly than repairs, if you make the right selection, you’ll save money long term by lowering your energy costs.
Here are a few tips on what to look for when purchasing new doors and windows.
Window and door frames are not only for visual appeal. They play an important role in improving thermal resistance. Timber frames provide excellent resistance to heat transfer, particularly over plastic frames, but can expand in wet conditions if not treated properly. Vinyl frames, however, can be insulated and are not prone to warping. Other materials include aluminum and fiberglass, which also have advantages of low maintenance and strength. If you see any damage on your existing storm doors or can feel the air outside coming in, it is likely time for a replacement
Screen doors provide protection from insects but have no insulation and limited protection against air pollutants. Replacing your screen doors with glass storm doors gives a more durable solution and better insulation for your home. Some storm doors are designed with screen inserts to allow ventilation.
If you live in Kansas City where the weather can get very cold, use window glass with low emissivity (Low-E) coatings to reduce heat loss. Standard glass transfers 84 percent of heat while Low-E glass coatings can reduce emittance to only four percent. Window manufacturers' product information may not list emittance ratings so make sure you work with a company who has that information on hand.
If you live in a home that tends to be way too warm during the summer months, use windows with coatings that can repel heat. There are windows available in the market that have low solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC. These windows have less solar radiation passing through them, which reduces heat gain.
Double-glazing maintains insulation and also reduces the amount of noise coming from the outside. Double glazed glass panels create a hermetically-sealed environment in the cavity between the glass sheets. The cavity is filled with air or another gas, including argon, krypton or xenon; the type used contributes to the overall U value (thermal resistance) and other properties. The cavity ranges from 4 to 20 mm.
If you aren’t ready to replace your windows and doors, use these tips to help improve energy efficiency.
Check the condition of your windows and doors, including damage to the hinges or slides. Conduct an energy audit on your home. This can be as simple as feeling for drafts and looking for gaps and cracks between your windows, doors and walls. However, if you have a big house, or are unable to check some of the higher openings, a professional technician can provide a thorough report and recommendations.
You can add shades, shutters or blinds to your windows. There are many types of window treatments available on the market that are both aesthetically pleasing and energy-efficient. For doors, you can apply weatherstripping across the bottom edge. Weatherstrips are thin strips of rubber or brush bristles that fill the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor surface.
Close window drapes and shades especially during the hottest hours of the day in summer to prevent your air conditioner from having to work harder to re-cool the indoor air. Closing the drapes in colder months can reduce heat loss in a room by up to 10 percent.
Making your home energy efficient goes beyond just choosing the right type of materials. The installation process itself plays a pivotal role in ensuring that your windows and doors remain functional and energy-efficient throughout their lifespan.
Window and door installations vary from house to house. To ensure that the proper fit is achieved and that the manufacturer’s installation requirements and suggestions are followed, it is important to have your windows and doors installed by professionals.
Precision Windows & Doors is a trusted installer and supplier of windows and doors in Kansas City. We are a locally-owned company and provide reliable, high-quality construction products and services to all of our clients.
Contact us today if you need more information about our products and services.