Windows on our home are not only aesthetically pleasing, they provide light, warmth and ventilation. Unfortunately, they can negatively affect the home’s energy efficiency depending on how much cold/heat and light are allowed through the windows. A way to reduce high energy costs is by installing windows that are designed and selected for maximum energy efficiency.
There are several different window types and the energy-efficient windows come in traditional styles such as awning, hopper, sliding, fixed, double-hung, and casement. Many factors determine the proper installation of the window.
You also have to consider construction of the house, the exterior cladding and the type of weather restrictive barrier was used in construction. For the energy-efficient windows to function properly, they must be installed to the manufacturer’s recommendations and be properly sealed during installation; therefore, a professional installation is recommended.
However, if budget constraints keep you from replacing your windows, there are improvements that can be made to your existing windows to help.
- To reduce air leakage around windows, use caulk for gaps, stationary cracks, or joints less than one-quarter inch wide and weather-stripping around movable building structures such as doors or windows.
- Window treatments and coverings can also be added to help in the reduction of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. They are not effective, however, in reducing air leakage or infiltration.