When it comes to saving energy, it pays to conserve. American consumers pay about $25 billion annually to heat and cool air that eventually leaks to the outdoors. The collective cost for this wasted energy is enormous, an amount equivalent to the value of the oil produced by the Alaska Pipeline.
It makes sense to think about the efficiency of your home. As you do, take some time to consider your windows. Windows are one of the leading sources of air leakage, allowing hot air to creep indoors during the summer and warm, heated air to work its way outside in the colder months. By taking the appropriate steps, you can effectively boost window insulation and better maintain the overall comfort level of your home.
Here are five window insulation tips, provided by Comfortex BlindCrafter Centers, to help you conserve energy this winter:
* Caulk cracks or holes in your windows or install weather stripping around the window sash and frame to seal off the areas prone to air flow.
* Install either interior or exterior storm windows. Storm windows can easily reduce the heat loss through your windows by 25 percent to 50 percent while limiting drafts and condensation. Be sure the storm windows have sufficient weather stripping and interlocking or overlapping joints to maximize their effectiveness.
* Insulate your home with energy-efficient window treatments, such as cellular shades, that provide an insulating barrier on your windows to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.
* Keep window treatments closed at night. Open them during the day to take advantage of the sun’s rays for natural solar heating.
* Clean your windows, especially on the southern side of your home. This allows for maximum solar gain throughout the day and clean glass allows this to happen more readily.
If you’d like to add new window treatments to help save energy in your home, you may be able to get them for free.