Ten Tips to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient
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No matter the season, energy efficiency is always in style as homeowners battle rising utility bills. To help control your energy costs throughout the year, try these 10 tips from JELD-WEN Windows & Doors that can keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Give your home an energy makeover: A survey or audit of your home’s energy usage and costs can identify specific ways you can reduce your home energy bills. For more details visit www.energystar.gov.
- Low-E glass is a must: With two transparent, microscopic layers of silver coating, Low-E glass works by reflecting heat outside in warm weather and holding heat indoors during colder months. Low-E coatings block 95 percent of harmful UV rays, which also helps prevent fading of interior furnishings. A home protected by Low-E glass remains comfortable year-round, and heating and cooling costs are reduced. Low-E glass is standard in most JELD-WEN windows and patio doors with an optional upgrade to Low-E 366 glass, which features three layers for even greater UV protection.
- Mind the gaps: Sealing and weather-stripping your windows and doors can save up to 10% on your energy bills. A home’s front door can play a vital role as one of the first lines of defense against the elements. If a door doesn’t close properly or lets in a draft, utility bills will pay the price. If these features cannot be easily fixed, it may be time to replace the door.
- Check the compass: The direction windows and doors face can make a big difference in the sun’s intensity level within the home. Windows and doors that face south and west should have the highest level of UV protection. Window and door exterior overhangs are also important to provide privacy and block powerful solar radiation from entering the home.
- Let the sun do the work: In the winter, keep blinds or drapes on sun-exposed windows open during the day to help heat your home.
- Clean it up: During heavy-usage months, air filters get dirty sooner, slowing airflow and making your system work harder. Regularly check your air filter and replace it as needed to avoid dirt buildup.
- Calculate the savings: Consider the long-term value that energy efficient products offer in terms of savings. Replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows can save you anywhere from $125 to $450 on energy costs each year. In addition, many local utilities offer rebates for purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors. Find out how much new windows can save at the Cardinal Glass Energy Calculator.
- Exteriors need protection too: Apply a UV-resistant clear coat, paint or stain (per the manufacturer’s recommendation) to guard against the heavy beating doors take from the sun. To prevent warping on a wood door, apply the coating to all six sides. Consider installing a fiberglass door, as they are built to be long lasting and easy to maintain in any climate.
- Material matters: Vinyl is the preferred choice for replacement windows today. Vinyl windows with dual pane Low-E glass reduce heat transfer and will help better insulate the home. Wood is also a good, natural insulator against the elements and fits with many traditional architectural styles.
- Drive home efficiency: The garage is often forgotten when it comes to energy efficiency, but it’s one of the largest entry points of the home. The temperature of a garage greatly affects the overall temperature of the entire home. For energy savings in the garage, find a proper fitting garage door and make sure that the door leading from the garage to the inside of the home is also energy efficient.
Tax Credits Give Homeowners Sustainable Savings
As you search for more ways to increase home energy efficiency, JELD-WEN, the world’s leading manufacturer of reliable windows and doors, offers a wide selection of options designed for nearly any project or budget.
Now, the incentive to take action and replace older, inefficient products with high performance models is greater than ever. Under the government’s new Economic Stimulus plan, federal tax credits for qualified energy efficiency improvements related to items including windows and doors are available for up to $1,500. JELD-WEN has made it easy to determine the specific requirements and which products qualify for the tax credits by asking for the Tax Credit package or visiting www.jeld-wen.com/taxcredit. The federal requirements stipulate that qualified products must be installed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
Replacing old, leaky, inefficient windows can make a major difference in reducing energy costs, as well as adding other style and performance benefits. A typical home can realize significant savings. In fact, more efficient JELD-WEN windows and doors helped a family in Maine, following JELD-WEN’s nationwide search to identify the worst utility bill in the country. The family was able to cut their home fuel heating bill by half, thanks to new JELD-WEN windows and doors that were installed in their 119-year-old farmhouse. Now, the family notices not only a dramatic difference in their energy costs, but in the comfort and style of their home. Find additional tips at www.jeld-wen.com/resources.
According to independent research of real estate agents conducted by JELD-WEN in 2008, better energy efficiency also is a major selling point. Two-thirds of agents said they have mentioned energy efficient doors and windows in their home listings. “This year, there are many benefits for replacing inefficient windows ranging from not only saving money in the form of a tax credit and energy savings, but increasing style, comfort and overall home value,” said Brian Hedlund, product marketing manager for JELD-WEN. “It’s an investment that just makes sense as it offers great short and long term returns.”
Enter the JELD-WEN Utility Bill Bailout Contest by January 29, 2010, and you could win a complete window and door makeover for your home.
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