Squeezing Every Last Drop out of Your Energy Efficient Windows

energy efficient windows
Photo property of Damien Pollet

Installing energy efficient windows in your home instead of choosing the low-end, cheap garbage of the past can have a huge impact on your health, the health of the environment, and your financial well-being. In fact, not only will you be cutting a chunk out of your carbon impact by going with energy efficient windows, you’ll also be reducing your utility bills by as much as $465 per year. That, for many homeowners, is reason enough to switch over to greener window options.

The First Step to Energy Efficiency: Choosing the Right Window

It’s easy to think that the term “energy efficient windows” only speaks about one type of window, but in reality, there are many different varieties of energy and money saving windows deserving of the title. Just our Energy Xtreme windows are available with four different levels of energy efficiency. Knowing what to look for, from the right U-value to the proper climate zone, can be made easier by consulting your favorite window professional. Finding someone you can trust will be essential in this first step.

What Extra Steps Can You Take to Improve Energy Efficiency?

Once you’ve chosen your windows and had them installed, it’s time to practice proper maintenance habits that can not only keep your new windows in shape but also improve on their original energy efficiency ratings many times over.

  • Stay on Top of Maintenance – As with anything else, the weather stripping and caulking around your window frames that help keep your heat or air conditioning in and the outside air out eventually break down. Re-caulking your windows and replacing the weatherstripping at regular intervals is estimated to have a huge impact on energy efficiency, so much so that the U.S. Department of Energy estimates you’ll more than make up the costs of caulking and weatherstrips within a year of purchase.
  • Keep the Proper Storm Windows in Year-Round – It might seem a little crazy at first, but, as Energy.gov suggests, keeping energy efficient storm windows installed year-round, particularly when they have a low-e coating,  can increase your energy savings by 12 to 33% a year. Since modern storm windows are installed on tracks, allowing you to open and close them, letting in or shutting out the breeze at a moment’s notice, you have complete control over the climate of your home, while sending your energy efficiency through the roof.
  • Install Exterior Shutters – The simplest thing you can do to give your energy efficient windows a boost is to install shutters on the outside of your home. The concept here is simple: shutters block sunlight going into your home, thereby reducing the amount of power you need to cool it in the summer. Likewise, when the winter comes back around, you can open the shutters, letting the sun do the bulk of your heating for you.