With soaring utility costs in much of the nation, the need for energy efficient windows has never been more apparent. Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an old one, homeowners should consider just how much heating and cooling costs are due to old, subpar windows. Accounting for as much as thirty percent of total energy usage dependent upon how much heat or cold enters or leaves through energy inefficient windows should be enough to send anyone shopping for a new solution.
For current homeowners, generally there are two paths to consider taking. First, you can update your existing windows. This includes but is not limited to caulking and weather-stripping, adding shades, shutters or other window treatments, and even solar blocking film. Additionally, check for any air leaks as this will only translate to wasting energy which will be quite literally throwing money out the window.
For those building a new home, or homeowners looking to remodel, the second option is to choose new windows. But to maximize energy efficiency, this needs to be a well-informed decision. For replacements, you need to decide if you will be reusing the old frames or creating something new. From that point you need to decide what type of frame, the window glazing, and general operation, that is to say will it open, and how and where.
This is an exciting part of the process, because you can draw on any outside inspiration and truly choose the windows that best serve your need. Additionally, if safety is a concern, this is your opportunity to choose windows that fit your needs, such as for a child’s room or lower basement window. Only once you know which of the two options you’ll take, and then how you want to go about it, can you then really roll up your sleeves and go about finding the brands and specific types of windows to consider.