With so many window options available today, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Add in the eco-friendly movement and you can find yourself really confused. It's true that going green will require some major decisions, but not replacing the older windows may result in water leakage and energy loss, which will cost you more in the long run. The truth is, replacing those old windows is inevitable. Why not bite the bullet and upgrade them in a way that will save you money and energy over the years?
How to Go Green With Your Windows
You may also find replacing all the single-pane windows with a double or triple pane window to provide better insulation to keep the cold and heat out of your home makes the most sense. Builders recommend replacing the new windows in wood, fiberglass, or vinyl, rather than aluminum, because of the added layers add more protection against the elements.
Upgrading from single to double pane windows may reduce your heating costs by 15%; triple panes will be even more. Low-E storm window coatings can make windows comfortable at all times, but may differ from climate to climate. In most cases, the product pays for itself in a few short years. Double and triple tracked storm windows are equipped with screen panels for natural cooling during the summer months.
Window awnings, exterior blinds, and trees are a natural way to reduce the accumulation of solar rays in the summertime. The more natural light brought in by skylights and vertical (clerestory) windows, the less you will spend on artificial light. Tight fitting windows also keep the room cooler in the winter months.
Window Replacement or Films
If you have a contractor do the work, the cost will be the same whether the windows are energy-efficient or not. Home efficiency can be increased by 30% or more by replacing the older model windows. Green homes require less maintenance, a healthier atmosphere, and a place of quality comfort.
Another choice, if you cannot afford new windows, would be an applied film. Two types are offered: surface-applied film (more permanent) or a stretch-plastic temporarily installed to the interior window trim. Surface-applied films have been rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) as a satisfactory performance product.
You must understand the U-factor or U-value (thermal transmission) and solar heat gain ratings. If you locate the Energy Star label, you have an eco-friendly window, but the NFRC rating is for the entire window. The U-factor center-of-glass rating describes the glazing performance alone without the effects of the frame. With most energy-efficient windows, the whole window U-factor rate is higher than the center-of-glass factor. Check your area/climate for simulated energy costs for various types of windows. If any of the terminology is confusing or you don't understand what it means, don't be afraid to ask your window supplier.
While it's true that windows are expensive and a lot of decisions are involved in purchasing eco-friendly ones, the time and expense will pay off in the long run when you notice a reduction in your power bill. For more information, contact a company like Gilkey Windows.
Have you ever thought about growing your own herbs inside your kitchen? Whether you live in an area that isn't garden-friendly or just don't have the space outside for the herbs, you can find some great window options for growing an indoor herb garden that fills your kitchen with great scents while it's growing and while you are cooking with them. On this blog you will find tips for choosing windows that will help promote the growth of your herbs and designs for windows that are meant to grow such gardens in your home without all of the headaches that can come with it.