Not Ready for New Windows? You Can Still Make Your Home More Energy Efficient.

Many would be surprised by the percentage of our country’s energy that is used by residential homes. (And even more people would be surprised that windows are responsible for $35 billion that homeowners lose in air-conditioning and heating costs each year, as reported by Energy Star.) But we understand that most people may not be prepared to invest in replacement windows, so we’ve compiled a list to help make your home more energy-efficient, while you sit on the idea of new, beautiful windows.

Jul 10, 2013

Not-So-Fun Fact: Nearly 25% of our country’s energy is used by homes alone, and the typical American family spends $2,000 a year on home utility bills. Unfortunately, tons of energy and money are wasted through leaky windows, ducts, old appliances or inefficient heating and cooling systems. In 2010, space heating accounted for almost half (45%) of typical utility bills.

While windows can be one of the most beautiful features of your home, you can thank leaky ones for 10-25% of your heating bill, and for making your air conditioning system work extra hard during those crazy Maryland summers. In fact, the Energy Department reported that windows are responsible for $35 billion that homeowners lose in air-conditioning and heating costs each year.

If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane windows with low-e coating. These types of windows do a great job of reducing energy waste in your home, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Replacing your windows may not be an investment you’ve planned for yet, and that’s fine. As you begin to make these plans, be sure to research the return on certain home improvement projects. Hint: Replacement windows are one of the highest returning home improvement investments, averaging a 72% ROI!

In the meantime, here are some easy, low-cost (or no-cost) tips and tricks to help make your home more efficient:

  1. Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.

  2. Study your family’s lighting needs and look for ways to use sensors, dimmers or timers to reduce usage. 

  3. Plug home electronics – TVs, DVD players, etc. – into power strips, and turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. Even in standby mode, TVs and DVD players still use several watts of power.

  4. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and air dry dishes and laundry.

  5. Look for ENERGY STAR ® labels on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, etc. ENERGY STAR ® products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

  6. Clean or replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners once a month or as recommended.

  7. In the summer, save money by automatically turning up the air conditioner at night or when you’re away from home. 

  8. Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.

  9. When purchasing home office equipment, look for products marked with the ENERGY STAR label. These computers, copiers, printers, monitors, etc. can provide energy savings of up to 90%!

Window Nation is a family owned and operated window replacement company proudly serving all of MD, VA, DC, NC and Ohio. For more information on replacement windows, new vinyl siding or entry door systems, please contact our team today!

SOURCES: EnergySavers: Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home, Yahoo! Homes: Cut costs with energy-efficient windows

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