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Table of Contents

1. Apply Window Caulk and Weatherstripping to Prevent Air Leaks

2. Install Awnings to Block the Sun

3. Add Blinds, Shades, and Draperies to Block Drafts and Sunlight

4. Replace Your Old Windows

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4 Tips to Improve Window Energy Efficiency

7 min readUpdated Mar. 18, 2024Lyle WeischwillWindows
How to improve window energy efficiency

When your energy bills are higher than average, the extra costs might be passing through leaky windows.

Nobody wants to spend 30 percent more on energy bills because their windows are like sieves. While the most effective solution is to get energy efficient vinyl replacement windows—with high-performance features, such as double-paned gas-filled glass or low-e and spectrally selective glass coatings—here are a few other things to try.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Sealing windows with caulk and weatherstripping helps eliminate drafts and reduces energy consumption.
  • Installing awnings, blinds, shades, or draperies can significantly block unwanted heat and sunlight..
  • Upgrading to energy-efficient windows not only lowers utility bills but also increases indoor comfort and boosts your home's overall value.

Are you noticing a spike in your energy bills or feeling drafts at home? Your windows could be the culprit. Improving window energy efficiency is a key step not only in cutting down costs but also in keeping your home comfortably warm or cool. Here are four expert tips to improve the energy efficiency of your windows:

1. Apply Window Caulk and Weatherstripping to Prevent Air Leaks

When was the last time you checked the seals around your windows? Grab a candle or a piece of thin paper, and perform a simple test: hold it near the window edges. Do you see any movement indicating air leaks?

Even the smallest gaps or cracks around your windows can allow cold air to enter during winter and hot air to infiltrate during summer, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills. By applying window caulk and weatherstripping, you can effectively prevent air leaks and create a more comfortable and energy-efficient home.

There are different types of caulk and weatherstripping available, each serving a specific purpose. Caulk is a flexible material that seals gaps between stationary components of a window, such as the frame and the glass. It's available in various forms, including silicone, acrylic, and latex. Weatherstripping, on the other hand, is designed to seal gaps around movable parts of a window, such as the sash or the frame. It's typically made of materials like rubber, foam, or vinyl.

To apply caulk and weatherstripping, follow these simple steps:

  1. Thoroughly clean the window frames and sashes to ensure proper adhesion.
  2. Measure the gaps that need to be sealed and cut the caulk or weatherstripping accordingly.
  3. Apply caulk to the gaps between stationary components, using a caulk gun or putty knife. Smooth out the caulk with your finger or a caulking tool for a neat finish.
  4. Attach weatherstripping to the movable parts of the window, ensuring a tight seal when the window is closed.
  5. Check for any missed gaps or areas that require additional sealing and apply caulk or weatherstripping as needed.

By properly sealing air leaks with caulk and weatherstripping, you can significantly improve window energy efficiency and reduce energy waste.

2. Install Awnings to Block the Sun

Look outside your windows. How does the sun travel over your home throughout the day? Would awnings provide beneficial shade for certain windows more than others?
Awnings can be an effective solution to improving energy efficiency while providing a stylish aesthetic. Awnings provide shade and block the sun's harsh rays, helping to reduce heat gain and keep your home cooler.

When choosing awnings for your windows, you should consider the materials and styles that will work best for your home. Look for awnings made from durable and weather-resistant materials, such as aluminum or canvas. These materials are not only long-lasting but also provide excellent protection against the elements.
There are various styles of awnings available, including retractable, fixed, and freestanding.

  • Retractable awnings: A popular choice as they can be adjusted to provide shade when needed and can be retracted when not in use.
  • Fixed awnings: Permanently attached to your windows to provide consistent shade all day long.
  • Freestanding awnings: Can be placed anywhere in your yard and offer flexibility in shading different areas.

Installing awnings on your windows is a relatively straightforward process. Start by measuring the size of your windows and determine the appropriate awning dimensions. Then, follow the manufacturer's instructions to securely attach the awning to your window frame or wall. It's important that the awnings are properly installed so they can withstand wind and weather conditions.

3. Add Blinds, Shades, and Draperies to Block Drafts and Sunlight

Consider the current window coverings in your home. Are they mostly decorative, or could they be optimized for energy efficiency? Adding new or enhancing existing blinds, shades, or draperies can make a significant difference in energy costs. Window coverings not only enhance privacy and style but also act as an effective barrier against drafts and sunlight.

There are various types of window coverings available that can enhance the energy efficiency of your windows. Cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, are designed with insulating pockets that trap air, providing a layer of insulation. They are an excellent choice for reducing heat transfer and preventing drafts. Roman shades are another popular option that can add elegance to your windows while blocking unwanted heat and cold.

When choosing blinds, shades, or draperies for energy efficiency, consider factors such as material, thickness, and design. Look for window coverings made from insulating materials like thermal fabrics or blinds with built-in insulating features. Opt for thicker and tightly woven fabrics that can effectively block drafts and reduce heat gain or loss.

Proper installation and usage of window coverings can help maximum energy savings. Make sure that your blinds, shades, or draperies are properly fitted to the window frame to minimize gaps that can allow drafts to enter.

4. Replace Your Old Windows

Think about the age and condition of your windows. When was the last time they were replaced or upgraded? Replacing your old windows is a great way to improve the energy efficiency of your home and enjoy a range of benefits.

Benefits of replacing old windows:

  • Energy savings: Old windows often have gaps and leaks, which can let air escape and increase your energy bills. By replacing them with energy-efficient windows, you can reduce heat loss during winter and keep your home cooler in the summer, leading to significant energy savings.
  • Improved comfort: Drafts, cold spots, and excessive noise can make your home uncomfortable. New windows with advanced insulation and soundproofing features can enhance your overall comfort by reducing drafts and blocking unwanted noise.
  • Enhanced curb appeal: Upgrading your windows can transform the appearance of your home. With a wide variety of styles, colors, and finishes available, you can choose windows that match your home's architectural style and boost its curb appeal.
  • Increased home value: Energy-efficient windows are highly sought after by homebuyers. By replacing your old windows, you can increase the value of your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

What to consider when choosing new windows:

When selecting new windows for your home, it's important to consider the following factors:

  • Energy efficiency ratings: Look for windows with high energy efficiency ratings, such as ENERGY STAR® certified products. These windows are designed to meet strict energy efficiency guidelines and can help you achieve maximum energy savings.
  • Frame material: Different window frame materials, such as vinyl, wood, or fiberglass, offer varying levels of insulation, durability, and maintenance requirements. Choose a material that suits your preferences and budget.
  • Glass options: Double or triple-pane windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings and gas fills provide better insulation and help reduce heat transfer. Consider these options to improve energy efficiency and reduce outside noise.

Types of energy-efficient windows:

There are several types of energy-efficient windows available:

  • Double-hung windows: These classic windows feature two vertically sliding sashes and are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Casement windows: These windows open outward from the side, allowing for excellent ventilation and unobstructed views.
  • Slider windows: Slider windows glide horizontally and are an ideal choice for wider openings.
  • Picture windows: These fixed windows offer expansive views and are often combined with other window types for increased functionality.

When you're ready to replace your old windows with energy-efficient options, Sears Home Services can help. Schedule a free in-home consultation to discuss the unique requirements of your home. Our experts will partner with you, finding the solution that fits you style, needs and budget.

Get new windows from Sears Home Services!

Let the sunshine into your home with new replacement windows. Schedule a free consultation with our window experts.

Call (800) 413-3629 or schedule online now.

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