Perhaps your home wasnít built using todayís high-quality, energy-efficient products or techniques. Perhaps previous occupants never took take care of problems -- and your heating and cooling bills are higher than youíd like. Where might energy be flowing from your home?
It might be going out the window -- literally. The average home has enough leaks around its windows and doors to equal one open three foot by three foot window! Check your homeís first line of defense against the elements -- the roof, walls, floors, windows, and doors. It pays to deal with air leaks first to get the maximum savings from your heating and cooling systems and other energy-efficiency measures.
Appropriate insulation for your climate (based on R-ratings) can increase your comfort and reduce your heating and cooling costs up to 30 percent. Start with attic insulation, followed by exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces.†
If youíre shopping for new windows, glass doors, or skylights, look for the Energy Star label. Todayís high-efficiency windows are three to four times more energy efficient than windows commonly installed 10 years ago. Special low-e (emissivity) or spectrally-selective (solar control) coatings greatly reduce the amount of heat that flows through glass so there isnít as much heat lost in winter or gained in summer.
Energy Consciousness Tips
Find and plug those leaks. Just wet your fingertips and run them around the door or window frame to feel a draft -- or hold up a tissue and see if it waves. Seal leaks between moving parts (between door and its frame) with weatherstripping. Fill leaks between non-moving parts (between window frame and wall) with caulking.
Install storm windows or double-paned windows if you only have single-pane windows. If you have older or leaky windows that you canít replace, consider temporary fixes, such as plastic films kits that create the effect of an interior storm window, or low-e retrofit film.
Itís A Fact
Double-pane windows with low-e coating can reduce heating bills by 34 percent in cold climates compared to uncoated, single-pane windows. In hot climates, spectrally selective low-e windows can cut cooling costs by 38 percent.
Written by: Alliance To Save Energy
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