Kansas City is a place that has seen significant progress in the past few years. The downtown area is abuzz with independently-owned restaurants as well as new luxury housing developments. In the midst of this, Kansas City still manages to cling to its historical heritage.
For instance, the jazz roots of the city make for a lively music scene every night. Dozens of antique shops are all around. What’s more, charming decades-old houses still line the city streets.
If you live in one of these houses and haven’t done many renovations, you might have noticed that your energy bill is quite high. This may be because you’re losing energy through your timeworn, drafty windows.
New Windows and How They Help Reduce Your Energy Consumption
If you want to lower your energy bills, you will need to call a window company in Kansas City to have your windows replaced. Apart from being an investment that adds higher value to your property, new windows bring you one step closer to creating a more energy efficient home, which is also a step towards saving the environment.
Consuming Less, Conserving More
Typically, 15 to 20 percent of the surface area of walls in residential homes are occupied by windows. Apart from aesthetics, windows allow natural light and fresh air into your home.
Windows are also a significant component in maintaining ideal heating and cooling levels in your home. According to Pennsylvania State University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, windows lose more heat during the winter and gain more heat in the summer than any other surface in your home. Per the Department of Energy, heat loss through windows is responsible for 25 to 30 percent of energy use in residential homes.
As a result, you’ll likely need to increase the thermostat’s temperature during the winter or turn the air conditioner on full blast during hot summer months. When you do this, you’re not only failing to address the real problem—your inefficient windows—but you’re also increasing your energy consumption.
Increased energy consumption means you’re contributing to the depletion of natural sources of energy, which can be avoided if your windows are energy efficient.
There are two ways to have energy efficient windows: update your current ones or replace them entirely.
1. Updating Existing Windows for Improved Energy Efficiency
The first step to updating your windows is to check for air leaks. If you want accurate measurements of air leakage around your windows at home, you may want to hire qualified technicians to conduct an energy audit. Otherwise, you can take a DIY approach to your check.
Manually look for cracks and gaps between your windows and the walls. If your window frames move or rattle, that may mean possible air leaks. These openings, which are typical of older homes, allow inside air to leak out as well as let in drafts from the outside. If you find cracks, seal them with caulking or weather-stripping.
After ensuring that your existing windows are all sealed up, you should consider adding window treatments. This includes installing shades, shutters, or blinds. There are various types of window treatments available on the market, which makes it easy for you to find the best option for your windows. Look for both aesthetic and energy-efficient qualities when making your selection.
You can also upgrade your existing windows by adding another layer of glass make them double-glazed. The two layers of glass, separated by a layer of air, help keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Apart from this benefit, double-glazed windows also reduce the amount of noise that filters from the outside into your home.
An alternative to double-glazing is putting up window films. This helps to make your windows energy efficient by providing an invisible thermal shield that prevents the heat inside your home from escaping. Additionally, the reflective material of window films means they reflect unwanted solar heat away from the windows so your interiors absorb less heat than if you do not have window films installed.
2. Replacing Your Windows
Window replacement costs more than simply upgrading your existing ones, but the amount you save on reduced energy bills more than makes up for the investment.
The first thing you need to consider when replacing your windows is, of course, how energy efficient the replacements are. You do not want to spend a fortune on windows that can be as drafty as your previous ones. Instead, make sure you choose ENERGY STAR-certified windows.
Windows with these labels are guaranteed to lower your energy consumption. According to ENERGY STAR, using certified windows can save homes from $27 to $465 a year, depending on the type of window pane you choose.
If you live in an area where the climate is more often cold than warm, gas-filled windows with Low-E coatings are perfect for reducing heat loss. Windows with low U-factor (the rate at which the material conducts non-solar heat flow) are also preferable for cold climates because they provide better thermal resistance.
On the other hand, if you live somewhere warm, windows with coating reduce heat gain. Remember to also look at windows that have low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). The lower the SHGC, the less solar radiation passes through the window, resulting in reduced heat gain in warm climates.
The look of your replacement windows is, of course, important. But, the type of frames and model do not only serve aesthetic purposes. Your window’s frames are also key to improving thermal resistance, depending on the type of frame material you choose.
Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t stop at choosing the type of window you want to install. The installation process itself plays a part in ensuring that your windows are, and that they remain, energy efficient.
Window installation varies with the type of window, the construction of your home, and the manufacturer’s installation recommendations. Because of this, you should have your windows installed by trained professionals.
If you’re interested in having your windows replaced with more energy efficient ones, Precision Windows & Doors is happy to help you out. We’re a locally-owned-and-operated company that provides reliable and quality construction services, including window replacement, for both residential and commercial properties in and around Kansas City.
Contact Precision Windows & Doors today at 816-524-8999.