Windows are notorious for allowing energy to flow in or out of your home. During the summer, this forces you to use more energy to cool your home, and in the winter, it makes you crank up the furnace to warm your home. If you're tired of high energy costs, check out these five ways you can improve your current windows' energy efficiency.
Put up Some Shades or Blinds
Shades and blinds are one of the easiest things you can do to help stop the flow of heat through your windows. Shades help keep heat inside your house on cold days and keep it outside on hold days. Consider getting two-toned shades that are light on one side and dark on the other. During the summer, have the light side facing the window to reflect heat. During the winter, switch them around to absorb heat. Light colored blinds work in a similar fashion to limit solar heat gain, but they still allow a good flow of light.
Insulate Your Windows
Roughly one-third of your home's heat loss may be going right out the window, and a big reason is gaps and holes around windows. You should check the caulking around the window inside and outside your home. Scrape away any damaged caulk and re-apply fresh caulk to create a tight seal. Another good idea is to add some weather-stripping between the window and the frame to create a tighter seal when the window is closed. If you notice any damage to the window frame or glass, make the necessary repairs to stop air from slipping out.
Install Low-E Window Films
Low-E films mimic some of the properties of energy-efficient windows. However, you don't need to replace your windows to benefit from them. Simply purchase them for about $6 to $14 per square foot and place them on your existing windows. These low-E films help reduce radiant heat transfer by blocking invisible light, such as UV light. With low-E films, you can reduce heat gain from the sun by 70 percent. As an added advantage, because they block UV light, they protect your furniture, flooring and drapes from fading.
Get Some Exterior Awnings or a Roof Overhang
Window awnings are a perfect way to limit the amount of heat that enters your house during the summer. Plus, they add a little style to your home. By blocking direct sun from hitting your windows, awnings can reduce heat gain from the sun by 65 to 77 percent, depending on the direction the window is facing. A roof overhang works the same way window awnings do. A skilled contractor will be able to craft the perfect roof overhang that blocks the right windows exactly when you need them blocked.
Switch to Insulated Drapes
If you have light curtains, they may be keeping the sun out of your face, but they aren't doing much to actually keep in or out the heat. Thicker insulated drapes are what you want to block the transfer of heat. These drapes have a thermal insulation layer. During the summer, this thermal layer stops the sun's energy from entering your home, and during the winter, it stops heat from inside your house from escaping. Unfortunately, you have to keep them closed to really benefit from them, making them a poor choice if you want lots of natural light to flood your home.
You don't have to make expensive changes to improve your windows' energy efficiency. These simple five steps can go a long way to keep the heat where it belongs. For more information, contact a place like Sheila's Drapery in your area today.