Affordable Energy-Saving Window Ideas

Ever notice in older homes that radiators and vents are placed right below windows? They are placed there as a measure to combat heat-loss during the winter and to combat heat-gain in the summer. It’s no surprise that windows are poor regulators to bridge the gap between outside and inside temperatures but it’s good to be aware of the measures you can take to reduce heating and cooling costs.

1. Double or triple pane your windows to create more pockets of air for heat to pass through. Air spaces act similarly to the foam or rigid insulation which exist between your exterior and interior walls – both are poor conductors of heat, meaning that it takes longer for heat to leave your home during the winter and to enter your home during the summer. 

2. To increase the insulation effect of air spaces in double and tripled paned windows, either Argon or Krypton gas can be used instead of common air. Odorless, non-toxic and chemically non-reactive, both gases are denser than air, thus further decreasing the rate of heat transfer. Krypton is more effective than Argon, but it costs more.

3. Low-emissivity Coatings (films) applied to windows during the manufacture process help reflect both Ultra-Violet light and Infrared Light (heat causing energy) while permitting visible light to pass through the window. Heat will be trapped inside during the winter and reflected back towards the sun during the summer.

4. South-facing windows receive the most sun-exposure while north-facing windows receive the least. If you are experiencing significant amounts of temperature change in south-facing rooms, one idea is to plant a tree to shade the windows. Not only do the trees provide shade for your windows during the summer, but also they allow for beneficial heat gain during the winter because there are no leaves blocking the sun.

Anatomy of an Efficient Window provided by US Department of Energy

[http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/guide_to_energy_efficient_windows.pdf]

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