Homeowners may grumble this time of year that their windows welcome the wintry chill into their house. Some may think that replacements clearly are the answer to energy savings. Yet it’s important to get the full picture to make the best decision for your home.
THE MOVING TRUTH
In most circumstances, upgrading windows will not automatically rush in energy cost savings (especially when factoring in the price of new windows!). Windows, even the very best, are never going to prevent as much heat transfer as a well-built wall.
The confusion arises because of how heat moves within a house. Heat moves to areas of lesser heat. The natural heat movement in a house gives you the
impression that the windows are leaking simply because they do pull the warmed air their way. Even a triple-pane window doesn’t have the insulation value to completely stop that movement.
Typical windows get about an R-3 rating (the greater the R-value, the greater the power to keep heat where you want it). For comparison, an average insulated wall has an R-11 rating while an energy-efficient home would have an R-19 to R-40 rating. Of course, there may be a time when your windows need to be replaced or repaired.
Here are some common warning signs:
• Faulty window operation
• Excessive condensation between window panes
• Decay and water damage on window frames
• Severe storm damage
IMPROVE YOUR EFFICIENCY
If your home feels drafty in the winter, you may benefit from the energy
efficiency enthusiast’s adage: Seal, Insulate, Equip!
Properly air seal any gaps or cracks in your home that allow treated air to escape, causing your heating system to work more than needed. Search low and high: water and gas line connections going through a foundation wall in a crawlspace or basement are common culprits, all the way to ductwork in the attic. Next, make sure your home is properly insulated to ensure that your home can maintain the desired temperature. After your home is properly sealed and insulated, you can look into new equipment. You may even find that smaller equipment that uses less energy will properly heat and cool your home to keep you comfortable.
Schedule an energy audit to learn more. Your complimentary audit will include an action plan with individual steps to improve your home’s energy use.
Give us a call today or visit us online to schedule yours!