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Learn to Create A More Energy-Efficient Window at Almost No Cost

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Energy efficiency is a buzzword that’s been getting a lot of online traction in recent years. But while some of the lengths people go to just to cut down on their energy bills might seem a little drastic, you don’t need to start tearing down walls and ripping up floorboards.

Indeed, one of the most affordable ways to make your home more energy efficient is to focus on draught-proofing your windows. Energy efficient windows can be great investments for eco-friendly homeowners.

You might be skeptical that you need to make it a priority to make your windows more energy efficient. You will appreciate the argument better if you realize that the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that around 25-30% of all heat loss in residential units is due to windows. You can trim your heating and cooling costs considerably by making sure your windows are more efficient.

We’re not talking about replacing your windows here (though that might be necessary if they are hanging off their hinges) but simply helping them keep the cold air out and the warm air in. The air generally gets in through small gaps and cracks in your doors, floorboards and windows but the windows are typically the worst offenders and the most logical place to start.

Draught-proofing your windows doesn’t have to be a costly or laborious job either. Indeed, it can set you back pocket change but could end up saving you significantly more on your heating bills every year. You might even feel comfortable lowering the thermostat a notch, which is certainly not going to help the cause either.

Getting the right balance

Of course, the opposite side of the coin is that completely sealing your home can make it feel incredibly stuffy, particularly in the summer months. This is one of the most effective ways to make it more energy efficient. Warm air also often leads to condensation, which is never ideal. This means you need to strike a balance between sealing and ventilating your home. That’s why there are extraction fans in your bathroom and kitchen, after all.

There is a wide variety of sealant products available today, but the trick is to how each one works and what task they are appropriate for.

Wiper seals – These are strips made from plastic or metal that have brushes or wiper blades attached to them. This is attached to the inside of the window and creates a firm seal when it’s closed. Note that these are often more commonly used on doors.

Compression strips – This is a strip of foam that compresses when pushed into a narrow space (like the crack in a window). This is the affordable option but that doesn’t mean it should be sniffed at.

Silicone sealant – For when the windows are not designed to be opened as this seals them right shut.

Getting the materials right

If you’re getting new windows fitted, you’ll want to ensure they are framed in wood or uPVC as these are the materials that offer the best cost/efficiency balance. Double-glazing is also absolutely recommended and triple-glazed options are available if you want to go a step further. The gaps between the window panes are filled with air to prevent condensation and offer a perfect seal.

In either case, however, we’d always recommend hiring a professional to offer advice and keep you sealed nice and tight. But not too tight!

Have some inspiration about going green in all aspect of life. Views are my own.

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