Windows

Window upgrades can reduce the costs of heating and cooling your home as well as offer greater insulation from outside noise. Many homes in the region have standard single paned windows, which offer the least amount of energy efficiency.

Upgrade Existing Windows

US Department of Energy suggests you can improve the energy efficiency of existing windows by doing the following:

Adding storm windows

Reduce air leakage and some heat transfer

Caulking and weather stripping

Reduce air leakage around windows

Using window treatments or coverings

Reduce heat loss and/or gain

Replace Old Windows

However, if your home has very old and/or inefficient windows, it might be more cost effective to replace them than to make these improvements. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs. You’ll find you have several options to consider when selecting the best windows for your home.

See the US Department of Energy site for additional window information. www.energysavers.gov/your_home/windows_doors_skylights/index.cfm/mytopic=13340

Window Cost Calculator

Window tips

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Doors

There are several options  to consider when considering energy efficient doors::

Wood Doors:

Excellent insulation in itself
Requires maintenance to protect from weather damage

Tends to be expensive

Steel Doors:

Have built in foam insulation
Strong and resists warping
Less expensive than wood

Fiberglass Doors:

Have built in foam insulation
More expensive than steel, but less expensive than wood

Proper installation of these doors is essential. Loose doors without necessary insulation allow heat to escape.

Caulk and weather-strip doors to reduce air leaks and reduce heating and cooling bills.

Additional door information:

US Department of Energy information about energy efficient doors: www.energysavers.gov/your_home/windows_doors_skylights/index.cfm/mytopic=13620

Insulation & air leaks

Adequate insulation reduces the energy consumed by your home’s heating and cooling systems.

Insulation makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It plays an integral role in heating and cooling because it allows your home to retain its temperature, which is responsible for as much as 70% of your home’s energy use.

A wide variety of energy efficient insulation (including water heater insulation) is available. Benefits include:

Decreased utility bills (insulation usually pays for itself in a year or two)

Higher home resale value

Better comfort (warmer in winter, cooler in summer) at a lower cost

It is important to insulate not only walls, but also the attic, under floors, ceilings, and around basement walls. The best insulation has a high R-value, but the types of insulation needed are different for the various areas of your home, so it is best to consult a professional.

For more information on insulation:  http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11320

Energy Calculators

Use these, to estimate your energy and cost savings by using energy-efficient products.

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