Home Building off the Grid

A Look at Windows


It would seem that windows are a small enough part of any home that they would matter little to the energy budget. In some ways this might be correct, yet upgrading windows can help lower energy needs for heating and cooling. That is more than likely to lower energy costs, and it will help the windows pay for their purchase and installation costs. A look at windows today can reveal savings in several different ways.

Windows made with three panes have become a new standard in energy savings, and they do their job well. There are two areas between the panes that are filled with nothing but vacuum, and that is how the savings are garnered. Neither heat nor cold will pass through the vacuum between the panes, and it keeps the windows at the set room temperature throughout the day and night.

Installing new windows throughout an entire house can be a costly undertaking, but there are still ways to save. Window films come in light tints that can be added to individual windows. These films can help limit a bit of the cold air from coming in during the winter months, but that is not their goal. They truly shine during the warmest months of the year as they prevent excess sunlight from heating the home when the sun shines through. They are not quite as efficient as windows with multiple panes and vacuum sealing, but they can help cut some costs.

Caulking around windows and doors is one more way to lower energy bills, and adding a layer of insulation around the same areas could also add up to savings through the year. For those who are not quite ready to replace their old windows and doors, these can be a good temporary solution that will last at least a year or two before it may need to be done again. The energy savings could be used toward purchasing films for the existing windows, or it could go into window replacements in the future.