Americans spend a significant amount of money each year on utilities, and many homes don’t use energy as sustainably as they could.
By the U.S. government’s Energy Saver Program estimates, the average homeowner spends $2,200 on utilities per year, though rates vary from region to region.
Diagnosing your home’s heating and cooling issues can help you staunch the flow of cash out of your wallet and make your house a more temperate place to live.
"The key to these savings is to take a whole-house approach — by viewing your home as an energy system with interdependent parts," states the Energy Saver guide.
Lowering utility costs and making your home more sustainable are within your reach, and you don’t need to make a huge initial investment on, say, a new furnace or solar panels.
Because each part of your home works together to control your home’s internal climate, your windows and doors make a big difference in how much energy you need to spend to keep your house cool or warm.
When your windows and doors aren’t sealed properly or are just old and ineffective at keeping air from leaking out, you’re essentially spending money to heat or cool the outdoors.
By putting your windows to a test devised by the window experts at Renewal by Andersen, you can examine and diagnose issues with your windows and start down the road to less expensive energy bills and a more sustainable home.
Are your windows cold to the touch?
Window manufacturing has experienced a renaissance in the last few decades.
If you’ve ever sat next to an old window, you’ll notice that you can feel drafts of wind come through and if you accidentally bump against one in the winter, it will be freezing to the touch.
With recent technology development, including smart windows, and innovations in material engineering, windows now seal the inside of your home against the temperature and climate fluctuations of the outside.
If your home still has single-pane glass windows, they’re less like a barrier against the cold and more flimsy gateways for it to slowly seep in.
Do your windows rattle or can you hear the wind through them?
If your windows rattle, it means that they haven't been installed correctly, have shifted in their frames over time or are not sealed properly with caulk or other materials.
When windows rattle, it means that there are gaps around them, through which your climate control is escaping.
Besides helping you get a better night's sleep, getting new windows will keep your heat in at night and your air conditioning during the day.
Do you find condensation on the inside of your windows?
A hermetically sealed container, like a thermos and unlike an uncovered glass, won't get condensation on the outside because the moisture has no way to escape or seep through.
Additionally, when a window's exterior is in direct contact with the cold air outside, the warm air inside will settle and form a moisture bead.
New windows won't create condensation because there are multiple layers of materials between the exterior cold and the interior warm air.
Are your energy bills through the roof?
High energy bills can seriously gouge your bank account. If you're spending close to the average $2,200 per year or even more, chances are your old windows are partially to blame.
• Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently
• Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle
• Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems and your computer and monitor
Contacting the experts
If your windows failed one or more of these tests, then you're almost certainly spending more money to heat and cool your home than you need to.
Contact Renewal by Andersen for more information about energy-efficient windows and making sure your windows help regulate the temperature in your home.