DIY Green Energy For Homes

How Old Are Your Windows? It is a Good Idea to Install Energy Efficient Windows

Is your home cold? You may be losing heat through inefficient windows.

Take a walk around your house from the outside and inside and have a look at the condition of your windows.

They are the thinnest part of the home's outer skin and one of the greatest sources for heat loss, so a careful examination may reveal some awful truths.

Do all your windows fit properly or are some buckled and warped?

Draughts are a big drain on heating costs and while strip insulation may solve the problem temporarily, ultimately replacement is the only solution.

Do you have cracks or missing panes that leak heat as well as being dangerous?

Replacement is the preferred choice, but even a good seal with waterproof tape will last until the extra expense can be justified.

Are the catches securing the window during windy days or do they allow the window to move within the frame?

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This is particularly true of badly fitted aluminum frames which are light and subject to damage when blown open by sudden gusts.

You may consider fitting stronger catches, but metal frames are a source of heat loss even when closed properly.

Metal is a conductor of heat and not the best choice for window frames as a result, but is lower maintenance and structurally stronger for multi-level buildings.

One option when repairing or retrofitting is to employ a version of double glazing. Relatively simple clipping of a second pane on a frame over the existing window may be achievable by those with basic DIY skills.

The best option is to remove the window and seal with a complete new unit vacuum or gas filled between the sheets of glass for greatest heat retention.

You will have difficulty here with wooden sashes that need heavier weights to match the increased window weight.

The cost here may be substantial even if the gain is a justification, but will depend on your aesthetic demands.

Windows with heat resistance features may actually be counter effective as in winter some sun energy can warm a room by raising the warmth of a carpet before curtains are closed. Alternatively, you could also look at ways to weatherize windows and doors to reduce heat loss.

Good curtaining may be part of the solution to your window problems anyway.

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Those with thermal lining will prevent substantial heat loss and counter the effect of draughts at the same time.

You can make your own of course but recycled sets are often available from online sources or your local recycling center.

When building an energy efficient home or remodeling, look to place your windows for maximum efficiency with smaller areas on the side of the home that faces the prevailing wind.

Of course a view is important, but floor to ceiling picture windows will lose enormous amounts of precious heat in a cold winter.

Windows that can be opened to allow airing of a room are important as well in the home, as damp homes are much harder to heat as well!

Smaller frames with good seals are the best option here.

If you cannot afford double glazing through the entire house, then ensure the rooms where you spend the most time and then those facing the prevailing winter winds are the first to be done.

Heating a home can take up to 40% of the winter power demand and yet much of this energy can be lost through the glass in the outer skin of the home.

Expenditure here will always give immediate savings in your utility bill and should not be ignored if you want that view and to save energy!

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