There are extra costs to owning your own home. When things break down, you have to fix them. When the lawn needs to be mowed, you have to buy the gas for your lawn mower. If you want to enjoy beautiful annual flowers, you’re going to have to fork over the cash to plant them every spring. If you want to stay cozy warm through the winter, you are going to have to pay to heat your home. You don’t have a landlord to pay for any of these things. Is that why you’re here? Are you feeling the bite of that energy bill?

Are you noticing how much of your monthly income is going out the window–quite literally? Here are a few ways your home can cost you money and some ideas for keeping more of that money in your pocket, where it belongs.

WINDOW EFFICIENCY

If you have old, leaky, drafty windows, you might as well keep those windows wide open. All of that expensive heat you are generating inside your home is going right out those windows. However, it doesn’t have to. Replacing old windows with new double or triple pane windows with Low-E coatings is a cost effective way to upgrade the efficiency of your home. Find out about our energy efficient windows ->

SEALING LEAKS

There are many ways your home can “leak” precious warm (and cold) air. It is vital to do an inspection of your exterior walls and seal any holes or gaps you find. Make sure you look closely around window and door frames, or places where pipes and electrical wires (or other items) pass through your exterior walls.

If you have forced-air heating or cooling ducts in your home, be sure to make certain that these are properly sealed. The EPA asserts that a fifth of the air that flows through ductwork often leaks out. This can cost you money.

SIDING EFFICIENCY

The siding on your home is like a nice, warm blanket. Like a warm blanket, siding is great for keeping heat in your home. Siding has insulation that works to resist heat transfer. If it is warm inside, the warmth is going to stay longer. If it is hot outside, that heat is going to stay out longer. Upgrading the siding on your home is one of the best ways to lower your energy bills. It is also a great way to give your home a face lift and get excited about it again.

DOOR EFFICIENCY

All doors lose heat, but sliding glass doors are especially good at it. Not only can heat escape through old weather stripping and seals, it will also be going right through the glass. While you’ll benefit from replacing any of the doors in your home, replacing old sliding glass doors with doors that take advantage of new heat resistant technology is really going to make a difference.

REPLACE OUT-OF-DATE APPLIANCES

Old heating units and air conditioners can cost you an arm and a leg without you ever realizing it. New infrared heaters are far more energy efficient than those old, coiled heaters. There has been quite a bit of enhancement in air conditioner technology. If your air conditioning unit is older than ten years old, it is definitely time to upgrade it.

PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

Give your home the cool and hot air when it needs it. If you have a programmable thermostat installed in your home, you’re sure to notice a reduction on your energy bills in only a couple of months.

IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE?

While we may not be able to help you with all of the ways you can make your home more energy efficient, we can get you on track with the most advanced door, window, and siding options available. At Window Nation, we have an incredible selection to help you meet your budget and get the most bang for your buck. We can also make sure these products are installed properly to take advantage of their incredible Energy Star efficiency. Reach out to one of our online representatives and let’s set up a free, in-home estimate for you. What do you have to lose–except more money out of the window?

With just over two years of service to the Leesburg community, Little Tree Huggers LLC has just received its second sustainable business award. 2016 earned them the Loudoun Sustainable Business Challenge Platinum award and this year they were awarded the County’s top award: the Loudoun Sustainable Business Excellence Award on October 19, 2017!

Little Tree Huggers LLC is Loudoun County Virginia’s first bilingual eco-green preschool with the goal of encouraging children to connect with nature, care for the environment, and celebrate and respect the diversity of our multicultural world. With a carefully planned farm-like setting, historic bank barn and chicken coop, plus plenty of surrounding wildlife, Little Tree Huggers is committed to offering daily opportunities to learn about and care for the environment. Lia D. Johnson, the founder and Director is passionate about the arts, embracing all cultures and taking care of our planet. With a quarter century of experience in early childhood education, Johnson is convinced that experiencing and learning about nature and the environment are integral to creating the culture of environmental stewardship our planet needs to survive. In her acceptance speech at Rehau North America in Leesburg, Johnson told the assembled group “yes we have solar, we have geothermal but what it’s really about is the children and our responsibility to teach them by setting the example.”

Little Huggers LLC accredited as Audubon at Home Wildlife SanctuaryAs early as December 2015, Johnson was quoted as saying they were striving to become the first carbon neutral pre-school in the area. “We believe that an eco-green environment is essential for healthy minds and bodies. We do our part daily to sustain the planet, celebrate the wonders of nature and set the example for other households and business in the area.” In order to achieve this goal, the Johnson’s had their property accredited as an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary by the Loudoun County Nature Conservancy and converted their oil burning HVAC system to geothermal. They started with a solar panel providing ventilation for their chicken coop and immediately started looking for partners to assist with the expansion of their sustainable business vision

The challenges were daunting because it wasn’t only a 4,200 square foot preschool and home that needed to be carbon neutral, the property’s centerpiece – a 200 year old bank barn needed to be heated and cooled as well. Nothing was left off the table as the Johnson’s embarked on this journey. They even contacted local colleges and universities to see if a combination of solar, wind or even a micro-hydroelectric system would do the trick. Early on, however, it became clear that the first step was to convert their oil burning hvac system to geothermal. Solar is more widely known and marketed. However, the return on investment for geothermal is far better than solar in this region due to the low cost of electricity and limited sunlight compared to other parts of the country.

North American Geothermal, therefore, became Little Tree Huggers’ first sustainable business partner. And, although the savings were appreciable, the Johnsons felt strongly enough about setting the example for the local community that they went about restoring their bank barn with a combination of Amish Craftsmanship from Sylvan and Stoltfus Builders and the modern expertise of Window Nation who installed replacement windows, doors and insulated siding around the entire structure. The barn may have been on its way to being insulated but the heating and cooling challenge scared away more contractors than it attracted. Modern Mechanical finally came through with a high efficiency Mitsubishi mini-split system. The final challenge was solar and for this challenge the Johnson’s partnered with Prospect Solar to design and install a 32 panel solar array on the school’s 200 year old back barn at the end of 2016.

The results of all these efforts have been astounding! The twelve month operating cost to heat and cool the 4,200 square foot house and school with geothermal was only $576 and, with close to 11,000 kWh hours of solar energy production, average total energy cost over the last eight months has been right at $100 per month to heat, cool and power over 6,500 square feet of facilities! As the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce says “Go Green to Save Green.”

Little Tree Huggers brings together the best of the early childhood educational endeavors Johnson has worked with over the years. As a result, lessons in art, math, science, history, and Geography, as well as regular story time are held as much as possible outdoors. The preschoolers, aged three to six, are also taught Spanish daily, as the Argentine native incorporates Spanish into the daily curriculum. Another part of LTH’s mission is to expose the children to the various languages and cultures represented in each class. Children are encouraged to prepare projects highlighting family histories and backgrounds; and parents are further involved by participating in LTH’s Community Hero Program, a program throughout the year, which involves parents sharing their talents and family backgrounds with the children.

Image of a houseAn average day has the children spending much of the time, rain or shine, observing over 20 native birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects needing help due to loss of habitat as well as helping out on the working farm. They feed the animals — two ponies, two alpacas, three goats, a dozen hens, two ducks and two guinea hens — and help clean out the pens and put down fresh straw. In the mornings, they observe the abundance of flora and fauna as they pass the school’s windflower and pollinator gardens, beautiful forest glade, bridge and stream, on their way to the chicken coop to collect eggs - which in turn become the basis of a tasty cooking lesson later in the day. Lunches are spent further observing their surroundings and discussing the best ways to reuse, recycle or compost any waste. During playtime, the children’s creativity leads the way. You won’t see a multi-thousand-dollar playground at Little Tree Huggers. Instead, the children have access to a recycled wood tree house, green house, teepee, log cabin, nature observation deck, an obstacle course made out of natural stones, logs and branches, wooden blocks and lots and lots of free space. “Nature is what provides the opportunity for creative learning,” Johnson says.

As far as risk is concerned, LTH strictly follows Virginia Department of Social Services guidelines, maintains a student/teacher ratio of 6 to 1, and regularly involves parents in activities. In addition, as the curriculum is cumulative, progressively encouraging interaction with the animals and fostering responsibility, LTH offers a year round program for full time students, with a minimum of 6 hours a day and two weeks off in July. Tuition starts at $960 a month for six hours five days a week and goes up to $1,200 for ten hours a day five days a week.

By increasing the energy efficiency of your home, you can reduce your energy bills while also saving money and doing good for the planet. There are many ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home and replacing old windows is a popular method. When it comes to selecting new windows, you might be wondering “are casement windows energy efficient?”

Are Casement Windows Energy Efficient?

Casement windows are the most energy efficient style of window that is meant to be opened (picture windows are more efficient, but are designed to not open).

Casement windows offer such energy efficiency because of the design: these windows have a strong seal on all four sides. When a casement window is closed, the sash presses tightly against the frame so air cannot pass through. A strong gust of wind can actually press the sash and frame closer together.

Other types of windows are not designed to seal so tightly because of the way they open by sliding along a track. While modern replacement windows from Window Nation are all designed to be energy efficient, older windows in need of replacement can be a source of unwanted energy leakage.

When a window does not seal securely, air can leak in between the sash and the frame. In the winter, cold air from outside can leak into your home while heated air can escape. To stay comfortable, you’ll need to turn up the thermostat. In the summer, the reverse happens, and you might need more air conditioning to stay comfortable. The more heat or air conditioning you use, the larger your energy footprint and the higher your energy bills.

Choosing Energy Efficient Windows

While casement windows are already highly efficient due to their design, you can make them even more energy efficient by selecting windows that offer certain traits:

    • Low-e glass: Low-e or low emissivity glass coating is designed to bounce the sun’s rays away from the home in summer, to reduce solar heat gain. The same coating reflects the heat inside your home so that it doesn’t leak through the window.
    • Argon gas infill: Argon gas infills insert argon gas between panes of the window. Argon is less conductive than normal air, so it actually reduces the amount of heat or cold that passes through the window.
    • Double/triple pane casement windows: Adding additional panes of glass to a casement window increases its energy efficiency by sandwiching more layers of insulating air or gas between the inside and outside of your home.
    • Energy Star label: Look for the Energy Star label to indicate casement windows that are constructed using best design practices and energy efficient materials.

Browse Casement Windows

Are you looking for replacement windows for your home? Upgrade to energy-efficient casement windows now to see lower utility bills and start recouping the money you spent. Explore styles of casement windows today, or contact us for a free estimate replacement windows.

How much is a penny worth? There was a time when a penny stretched a whole lot further. In the early 1900s, you could get a few eggs for a single penny, or buy some produce at the market. In the 40s, you could get a bag of popcorn or lemon flavored shaved ice. Even in the 70s, a penny still had some worth. Stores had shelves dedicated to penny candy that could be purchased individually or selected and put into a brown paper bag. How sweet is that?

Today, a penny isn't worth a whole lot by itself. It has even become a hassle to put them in a jar, wrap them, and bring them to the bank. Fortunately, more and more stores are installing a machine that will take your coins and give you something in return. If you have kids, this is a great way to give them some meaningful work to earn a few dollars.

In light of how much a penny is worth in today's economy, it may not excite you to know that you can save pennies on your heat bill by replacing your windows with energy efficient windows, but consider these three points.

  • Pennies still add up. While we can't tell you how much you'll save on heating your home in the winter and cooling it in the summer, we can tell you that it adds up. For some of our customers, it made a big difference. In fact, one of the things we hear quite often is how our customers feel a positive difference in rooms that were too cold or too hot, even before the installers leave.

  • You don't have to wrap those pennies. If you save hundreds of dollars in pennies this year because you swapped out your old, drafty windows, that is money in the bank. You don't have to do anything, except enjoy the savings.

  • Pennies don't always stay pennies. Right now we are enjoying a break from high oil prices. But as you know, they can go back up at any time. That means those pennies you're losing when you heat your house, could turn into nickels or dimes.

Replacement windows from Window Nation are built to last, and they come with energy efficient technologies that will help you keep more of your hard-earned money where it belongs, in your pocket. If you're looking for an investment that will pay for itself, you don't need to look any further than replacement windows. Plus, you'll get all the other benefits that come with having new windows installed.

Don't let the energy companies nickel and dime you to death. Get new replacement windows from Window Nation and start enjoying the savings. It just makes cents.

With the cost of heating and cooling your home, keeping your home energy efficient is likely on the forefront of your thoughts. Windows are made to fit into holes in your house. These ‘holes’ need to be filled with windows that give you the most in energy efficiency as possible. If your home has old or inefficient windows, replacing them with new more efficient ones will decrease your energy consumption and lower your utility bills.

Windows are primarily made of two main parts, the frame and the glass. Historically window frames have been manufactured with wood or metal; both of which aren’t very energy efficient. Metal will readily conduct heat or cold into and out of your home and wood shrinks and expands with the weather allowing an unwanted amount of air and heat exchange. Replacement vinyl windows are manufactured to be more efficient than either of these options. Vinyl is a plastic product so it does not conduct or transfer heat and cold. This helps to keep the temperature inside your house stable. Here at Window Nation, we have a special option to minimize heat loss even more. We utilize a super spacer technology. It is an all foam and no metal spacer bar that will not allow any heat transfer from one side of the window to the other, making these windows even more energy efficient. Vinyl won’t shrink or expand with the changing weather patterns either. Replacement vinyl windows are custom made to fit the existing openings in your home; making these windows a perfect ‘fit’ for your needs!

Wait! Don’t forget about the evolvement of the glass either! Window glass panes have done some changing over the years. What began as a single pane of glass has morphed into an insulated multi-pane view of the outdoors. The glass itself can be double or tripled paned, as well as have specialized coatings on it to help with UV exposure. Double or triple pane windows are insulated between the glass with a special gas. Window glass is no longer just a piece of glass.

Window technology is constantly evolving and changing. You can rely on the professionals here at Window Nation to know and recommend the right window for your project. We have a vinyl replacement window to fit every style and budget. With our superior windows, you will save money now and later by decreasing the amount of energy it takes to maintain your homes comfort level.