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Energy Efficiency Guide

Experts are predicting a big jump in natural gas and heating oil prices this winter even while prices are already near record highs. With the growing costs of heating your home easy steps can be taken to further insulate your home and reduce your heating bills this winter.

Did you know that 10-25% of your heating costs is wasted on heat seeping out of leaky windows? Simply adding the right window coverings can save you up to $325 every year in heating costs for the average home.

R-Value

Very simply, R-value is a measure of a given material's resistance to heat flow - how well it resists heat gain or loss. In short, the higher the R-value, the better the insulation it will provide for you. Your windows themselves have and R-value. A typical window has an R-value ranging from 0.9 to 3.0. (To put this in perspective, the insulation that is used to build a home today has an R-value in the low 40s).

Several Factors Influence the R-value of Your Windows

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Cold Climate Window Tips


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From the US Department of Energy:

  • Double-pane windows with low-e coating on the glass reflect heat back into the room during the winter months.
  • Install exterior or interior storm windows; storm windows can reduce your heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%. Storm windows should have weather stripping at all moveable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints. Low-e storm windows save even more energy.
  • Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
  • Close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day.
  • Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to maximize solar gain.

Warm Climate Window Tips


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From the US Department of Energy:

  • In the summertime, the sun shining through your windows heats up the room. Windows with spectrally selective coatings on the glass reflect some of the sunlight, keeping your rooms cooler.
  • Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
  • Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
  • Install awnings on south- and west-facing windows.
  • Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain.