According to the Department of Energy, heat loss and heat gain through windows are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use. Air leaks around doors account for another 18 to 20 percent of heat loss and gain. That means potentially half of the money you spend on heating and cooling goes poof – right out your windows and doors.
Energy efficient windows and doors are key to saving as much as possible on utility bills. Here are a few actions any homeowner can take to keep their money right where it belongs: in their bank account!
Maximize Door Energy Efficiency
Seal off gaps. Even when it is in peak condition and correctly hanged, a door can easily let heat pass through the spaces surrounding it. Use silicone caulk to close off door gaps that are narrower than 1/4″. Gaps wider than 1/4″ should be filled with foam backer rod prior to caulking.
Install weatherstripping. Caulk is only suitable for sealing gaps between the wall and door frame. Weatherstripping is more ideally suited to closing off spaces between the door and its frame. Supple rubber or foam weatherstripping will compress to create a more efficient seal when the door is closed.
Install a door sweep. A sweep is installed on the bottom of the door’s exterior. In addition to creating an extra barrier against dust and moisture, it helps to obstruct heat’s passage to the outdoors.
Install a storm door. The primary purpose of a storm door is self-evident: It shields the underlying door against rain, ice, hail, and all the other lovely things that regularly fall from the sky. But it also has the welcome secondary benefit of preventing air leaks. A storm door also provides a second layer of insulation – especially if it features low-emissivity coatings and multiple panes that contain low-conductivity gas such as krypton or argon.
Maximize Window Energy Efficiency
Seal off gaps and install weatherstripping. These handy DIY upgrades aren’t exclusively applicable to doors. They can quickly and economically improve any window’s energy efficiency as well.
Hang curtains. Looking for the easiest and least expensive way to reduce heat transfer through your windows? Hang curtains! Conventional drapes can reduce heat loss from a room by as much as 10 percent, and insulated curtains only enhance a window’s energy efficiency even further.
Install window film. Window film is a paper-thin yet durable laminate that adheres directly to a flat glass surface. It can block up to 99.9 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can help to preserve your furniture and flooring. It can also reduce glare inside your home, which is especially helpful if you have difficulty seeing your TV or computer monitor. But perhaps most significantly, window film significantly reduces heat passage through any glass surface it is applied to.
Install storm windows. Storm windows will protect the underlying windows against inclement weather projectiles, but they are also useful when the sun is shining. Modern storm windows (and storm doors) feature low-e coatings that minimize UV and infrared light infiltration without interfering with visible light transmission. In other words, storm windows prevent sunlight from undoing your air conditioner’s hard work without compromising visibility inside your home.
Maximize Energy Efficiency by Replacing Doors & Windows
All the DIY upgrades in the world can’t make old doors and windows as energy efficient as brand new ones. New exterior doors are better fitted and insulated than old ones. New triple-pane windows contain multiple airlocks that surpass the energy performance of double-pane windows by as much as 50 percent. And even if they didn’t enhance energy efficiency, new windows and doors would still be one of the most effective ways to enhance any home’s curb appeal.
If your home or commercial property is located in the greater St Cloud, Little Falls, Alexandria or Brainerd, MN areas then we welcome you to contact Exterior Pro today to request your free estimate for door and window installation. We’ll make sure you get the most energy efficient exterior doors and windows your money can buy!