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“Saving Windows, Saving Money”

7 December 2012

How to make windows more energy efficient, and less drafty is a topic that homeowners often want to know about. In winter many of us notice the drafts coming from our windows and want to get rid of them. Good news, you don’t have to spend 30,000+ to make this happen! A study by the National Trust for Historic Predestination compared window improvement options and how they differed on relative energy, carbon and cost savings. The main findings show that most window retrofit strategies save close to the energy savings of complete window replacement, at a fraction of the cost. Retrofitting windows means improving the efficiency of the current window, and not having to purchase completely new windows.

Lastly, the 4 suggestions recommended by the findings of this study are:

1. Don’t start with windows. Tackle other energy-efficiency measures first such as whole house air sealing and insulation. These will make a bigger dent in your energy bill.

2. Choose window retrofits over replacements. Window retrofits have comparable energy savings  at a much lower cost, and can preserve the look of your current windows.

3. Take climate into consideration. What is best for homes in Minnesota may not work for homes in Texas.

4. If possible, do it yourself. There is a much higher return on investment if you eliminate the cost of labor.

Read the full study here

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicole permalink
    11 December 2012 10:33 am

    How do you retrofit a window?

  2. 12 December 2012 9:37 am

    Hi Nicole,

    The easiest things to do, that you can DIY is plastic window film (instructions on the Energy Challenge site: http://www.mnenergychallenge.org/Actions/Wrap-It.aspx), caulking (instructions here: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-retrofit-windows#b) and weatherstripping (instructions here: http://www.lowes.com/cd_Weatherstrip+Windows+and+Doors_666574941_).

    If you want to do thing such as adding an exterior storm window, your local window contractor will be able to help. Good information on general window maintenance tips here : http://www.doityourself.com/scat/interiorgeneralmaint/

    It is a lot of links but I hope it helped answer your question.

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