09 Nov Proper Window Seal Reduces Energy Bills
Imagine the wasted energy costs of leaving a window wide open in your home every day of the year. As strange as that sounds, the hidden leaks, cracks and holes in most homes makes the same impact as keeping a window open in your home year-round.
Does the idea of leaving a window wide open in your home all year long make sense to anyone?
Most of us would agree how absurd it is to waste money floating out your home’s open window when it is very hot or cold outside. As a result, proper sealing (or tightening of your home), including a window seal, along with the doors, makes a big improvement in your energy bills and overall home comfort.
What is air leakage?
Air leakage occurs in homes when air inside the home leaves or air outside the home enters uncontrollably through cracks, gaps, and openings. For most homes, air leakage is one of the biggest reasons for energy inefficiency and drafty comfort problems.
Many air leaks and drafts in your home are easy to find because you can feel them when it is cold or hot outside - like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in attics, basements, and crawlspaces are more difficult to find and are a bigger problem.
How does air sealing reduce your heating and cooling costs?
Air sealing transforms leaky, uncomfortable, drafty homes into more comfortable homes. Additionally, air sealing turns inefficient homes that are expensive to heat and cool into efficient homes with lower heating and cooling costs.
How does a window seal help?
Properly air sealing, which includes window sealing, significantly reduces heating and cooling costs. Plus, a proper window seal improves building durability and creates a healthier indoor environment.
In addition to air sealing, you'll also want to consider adding additional insulation and moisture control and ventilation strategies that ensures your home remains comfortable and efficient.
Are there any other winter energy efficient window tips?
Yes, the Department of Energy provides a few options to improve the efficiency of your windows. In particular, there are a few DIY projects you can complete that will prep your windows before winter strikes!
- Using a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet taped to the inside of your window frames will reduce drafts.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
- Close your curtains and shades most of the way at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in warming sunlight.
- Install exterior or interior storm windows, which can reduce heat loss through the windows by approximately 10%-20%, depending on the type of window already installed in the home. They should have weatherstripping at all movable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints.
- Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.
What are the other ways to create efficient windows?
Homeowners have a few other options when aiming to upgrade their home with efficient windows. The process can be quite confusing, but fortunately, there is some good news. Organizations, such as NFRC and ENERGY Star help make your decisions easier.
For example, all new windows include an NFRC label that provides detailed window energy performance ratings. The ratings enable comparisons between the efficiency of windows. The NFRC label provides efficiency ratings on windows that include:
- U-Value or Heat Loss through the Window. The lower the U-Value number, the better the window retains heat in the house.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) or Heat Gain through the Window. The lower the SHGC number, the better the window resists heat coming into the home.
- Air Leakage through the Window. The lower the Air Leakage number, the less air leakage occurs through the window.
If you are looking to install energy efficient windows, then consider your climate during the comparison-shopping process. For example, windows installed in hot climates should not have the same features as windows installed in cold climates. Windows in hot climates should block much of the sun’s solar energy. Conversely, windows in cold climates should let the sun’s energy in and then trap it to help heat the home.
Additionally, homeowners should also look for the ENERGY Star label on windows. Any window installed in your home should be certified as meeting ENERGY Star’s requirements for your climate zone.
Both the ENERGY Star label and the NFRC sticker on windows help homeowners select the most energy efficient windows for their individual climate zone. Make sure you use this information to select a window upgrade for your home that provides the highest level of comfort and efficiency possible in your area of the country.
How does GreenHomes America help reduce your energy bills through window sealing?
GreenHomes America takes a commonsense approach for increasing the comfort of your home, lowering your heating/cooling costs and raising your home’s efficiency. We start with informing you about common underlying causes of energy, comfort and health problems. We continue with teaching you about the corresponding solutions that work for your home. For many homes, this means starting with a home energy audit, which uncovers the root cause behind home discomfort.
For example, a quality contractor inspects your home and ensures all of the holes or connections between the house and the outside environment are sealed with the proper sealants, caulks, spray foams or airtight boxes. These connections include attics, chimneys, plumbing vent stacks, electrical wires, recessed can lights, kneewalls, windows and more. Find a GHA approved contractor in your area and take the first step towards improved home comfort (and lower energy costs) today.
GreenHomes believes home energy projects are far more successful when homeowners understand how their homes operate. If you understand the problems, then solutions make sense. We help you learn about the issues you want resolved! At GHA, we work with you to create a detailed process that resolves the underlying problems. As a result, we believe you'll enjoy long lasting results because you know about the root causes of common problems and solutions.