Energy efficiency for your home can be made or broken by the state of your windows. Under the best circumstances, a third of the heat your home loses during winter escapes through your windows and nearly half the heat trapped inside during summer enters through your windows. Imagine the situation if you still have the windows that were installed when your home was built before the energy efficiency revolution in new home construction? According to City-Data.com, more than half the homes in Cerritos, California were built before 1980. Keep in your mind the fact that the EPA would not launch its ENERGY STAR program until 1992 when you homeowners in Cerritos put into action the following advice on determining the efficiency of your current windows.
Panes of Glass
How many panes of glasses do your windows have? Anything less than two means the efficiency your windows offers energy efficiency can easily be doubled. Single pane windows offer the weakest protection against energy loss and in the long run are going to cost well more than the price of upgrading to more energy efficient windows.
Do you have any natural or man-made objects that directly offer shade to your windows during the summer? The loss of cool air produced by an efficient air conditioning system can only be reduced further by reducing or obstructing the effect that warm air from outside has on the cool air inside. This can be accomplished with natural shades like trees, fencing and nearby buildings or by artificial means. Those means include the installation of more efficient windows at the higher end of the cost scale or the addition of shading materials like shutters in the middle range. At the low end of the cost range and the efficiency range are window treatments like blinds and drapes.
Are your current windows old enough that signs of deterioration are clearly evident? If the older windows are revealing evidence that the time to repair or replace them is nearing, you can bet they have already lost much of the energy efficiency they started with. And since you will soon need to get those repairs or window replacements done, it is certainly well worth considering upgrading to windows with greater efficiency. What signs of deterioration to point to energy savings with an upgrade?
- • Difficulty opening and closing.
- • Fogging between window panes.
- • Rotting wooden sashes.
Even a window design that is clearly outdated and out of step with surrounding homes can be a sign that your windows are not doing all they could to keep warm or cool air from escaping the house.
The Flame Flickers
Even if everything about your windows confirms your belief that you have an energy efficient home, you might still want to do the final test. Either close the air vents in the room or turn off the heater, air conditioner or fan. Light a candle and hold it a few inches out from the window, making sure to move it around to test various spots. If the flame starts flickering, move it away from the window to see if stops. If the flickering stops when you move the candle, but starts up again when you return it back to the spot in front of the window, you are losing energy through that window. The intensity of the flickering should be enough to inform you as to whether the situation calls for action.
Feel free to contact us for more detailed information about energy efficiency and window replacement.