Are your windows energy efficient? If not, you may be throwing your hard-earned dollars out the window (figuratively, and literally).
According to the US Department of Energy, the windows in your home account for anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of your heating and cooling costs—more so if you live in an older home. Only in the most extreme of situations is replacing your windows a cost effective option for increasing energy efficiency. For most homeowners, simple DIY repairs (like replacing old weather stripping or caulking) combined with intelligently-chosen, energy efficient window treatments is the best route for reducing the amount of energy (and money) lost through your windows.
Before you decide on window treatments for your home, take the time to compare your options in terms of energy efficiency. Take a look at the chart below for a general comparison:
But keep in mind, the window treatment that offers the biggest boost in energy efficiency for one type of window in one environment or climate may not necessarily offer the same for a different kind of window in another location. Window Coverings and Attachments—a joint project of BuildingGreen, Lawrence Berkley National Library, and the DOE—is a fantastic tool for helping to choose the best window treatments in terms of energy efficiency for your windows, your climate, and your priorities:
To get the most out of your windows, always keep in mind how you want your windows to function. Do you want them to let in as much light, heat, or air as possible? Or is keeping those factors to a minimum to maximize comfort and privacy your main concern? How well different window treatments stack up against your answers to these questions is just as important as their energy efficiency.
Need help choosing more energy efficient window treatments for your home?
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