Maintaining an energy-efficient home or business is a key way to help the planet while also helping your wallet, and windows are often a source of inefficiency. Continue reading to learn more about how you can increase the energy efficiency of your windows, reduce your impact on the environment, and save money at the same time. It's a win-win!
Examine Your Windows
The first step in maintaining energy efficiency in your windows is to give your windows a close look. Often times windows are taken for granted and ignored when cleaning your home. Start off by thoroughly cleaning your window jambs and sills. Dirt and grime can collect in these areas causing your window not to seal properly. This buildup will greatly reduce the energy efficiency.
To take things a step further you can use infrared laser thermometers to get temperature readings from around your window. Large temperature differences in this area could mean your windows are leaking air.
If you do not want to purchase an infrared thermometer, there is another creative way to determine what windows may be leaking air. First, close all of your windows and doors and turn off any combustion appliances (oven, hot water heater, furnace, etc.). Then, turn on all of your exhaust vents (bathroom, above the stove, etc.). Next, you're going to need some incense. Take your incense and light it around the edges of your windows. If you see the smoke being blown inward from the outside, then your window is leaking air.
Once you have determined which windows are leaking air, you can begin to diagnose the problem.
Start you investigation with taking a look at window weatherstripping is one area in windows that often goes overlooked. Overtime the weatherstripping can become brittle and cracked causing the window to no longer seal properly. Inspect the weatherstripping around the edges of your window sash and in the jamb. If it is cracking or damaged in any way, simply replace weatherstripping with a compatible replacement.
Locks and Keepers
Window locks and keepers are another part of your window that you should check. Make sure that when you lock your windows, they lock securely and that your sashes are fully close to prevent air infiltration and maintain energy efficiency. Often times in double-hung windows, the upper sash and slide down slightly allowing air in and increasing heating and cooling cost.
Window balances are one of the most important parts of a window and are also the most overlooked. If your window balances are old and about to fail, this can cause your window sash to sit unevenly in the jamb creating gaps between the sash and jamb. If they have failed completely, then your sash simply will not stay up. Both situations are not ideal and can lead to decreased energy efficiency. To remedy this, you simply need to replace your old balances. You can find more information about how to replace spiral balances and how to replace block and tackle balances on our blog.
The most obvious source of energy inefficiency is through the glass of your windows. Many older windows often have single pane glass which provides no insulation. This allows outside temperatures to more easily affect the temperature in your home. To remedy this, you can have the glass in your windows replaced with insulated double-pane glass. Double-pane glass is by far the most energy-efficient type glass, utilizing two panes of glass with air and sometimes gases such as argon or krypton to provide additional insulation. Alternatively, you can have the current glass in your windows coated with reflective, lower-reflectance, or low-emissivity (low-E) film that reflects heat back into or away from your home or business so that heat is not transferred through the glass. Contact your local glasshouse for more information regarding different types of glass and the type that is the best for your unique situation.
These are some of the simple steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency in your home or business. If you have questions about maintaining energy-efficient windows, need parts for your window identified, or if you have any other questions, give us a call at 1-800-842-0974, chat with us, or contact us to talk to a window repair expert today!