Tips on Choosing House Doors and Windows



Tips on Choosing House Doors and Windows


Millions of home owners are usually faced with serious challenges when trying to choose doors and windows for their homes. This is because they don’t know what criteria to use in selecting fixtures that will match with the other home settings. The wide variety of available fixtures to choose from also poses a challenge to most people. The truth of the matter is that there are simple guidelines you need to follow so that you make a choice that you will be proud to live with after installation has been completed.

Materials: Most people have come to prefer timber windows and doors because of their ability to sustain energy and increase the home’s appeal. Buying and installing these fixtures that are energy efficient ensures that you don’t spend too much money on energy bills. You will also be increasing the value of your house at the same time.

Design: When it comes to choosing the design, this is where you will probably get a serious challenge. However, you need to make your choice in relation to what features you want to have in relation to them. Remember that the best doors and windows need to address important issues such as security, ventilation and increased space. In cases where you have a design on your mind that is not readily available, you can always discuss with your carpenter and see whether they can actually create it for you.

Home settings: You also need to remember that there are many different varieties available in the construction industry and you should therefore take some time to get something that will showcase a perfect finish for the house. Don’t rush to buy any piece of this hardware simply because it looks catch and nothing more, always ensure you have your home settings in mind as you make your selection.

Energy retention: If you are thinking of installing a glass door or window, you need to consider its ability as far as energy retention in your home is concerned. There are glasses varieties available that will not only help in retaining energy but will also not be prone to catching dust as well as reducing the level of noises from outside the house. Remember to ask about class varieties that can prevent UV radiation from reaching the inside of your house.

Screens: When thinking about the screens you are going to choose, always consider the type of hardware you have. Think about a door or window where panes can be fitted easily without any hassles so whether it is internally or externally in order to keep the elements and pests away from your home. Don’t forget also that screen come in different varieties and are made to fit different types of doors and windows.

Color: While color may not be such a serious issue, it is also important that you give it come little consideration. Your choice will have a direct impact on the color that your doors and widows will be painted with. You will also need to remember that it is always much easier to apply paint on timber fixtures when compared to glass, where more expertise in normally required.



Stop Door and Window Draft Problems



Stop Door and Window Draft Problems


A door and window draft situation in a house means that you are losing money. In fact, studies have shown that window and door drafts can result in a 50% loss of a home’s heating and cooling energy. The American Council for the Energy Efficient Economy points out that an estimated $13 billion of energy is lost each year in the United States as a result of drafty windows and doors.

Door and window draft problems occur when a house has settled and windows and doors no longer fit properly. Any type of gap, no matter how small, causes air infiltration. This results in drafts, which will impact the set temperature in your home.

For these drafts, there are inexpensive solutions. Door and window draft blockers are effective in stopping drafts and are extremely affordable. While many people use handmade door snakes or old blankets to block drafts, these simply are not as effective as a draft blocker. It’s important to invest in draft blockers that are made from a strong material, like polypropylene, that has been tested to block air flow. The interior should be filled with a proven insulating material, such as finely ground corn cob. It is important that the draft blocker is flexible in order to fit snugly under the window or door.

To pinpoint draft areas, feel the bottom of doors and around windows. You can also listen for a whistling sound, which is common around drafty windows. If you feel air leaking in, you need to take action to seal off the draft. Doors and window in older home are more likely to have problems with drafts, but there could also be concern in homes with new replacement windows if they were installed improperly.

Door and window draft dilemmas can occur with all types of doors and windows. The front and back doors are common for being drafty, but also look at the basement door, garage door, sliding glass doors and attic door. Any window in the home can be causing a draft, in particular porch and basement windows.

Problems are most notable when cold air is coming through. During cold months when your home’s heating system is trying to maintain a certain temperature, drafts from doors and windows can make that temperature fluctuate. That means your heating system will continuously remain on or turn on more frequently to try to compensate for the cold air seeping in. The result is higher heating bills.

Door and window draft openings can cause problems in warm weather months, especially if you have central air, or use air conditioning or fans. While cooling systems are trying to cool down a home and maintain a comfortable temperature, hot air flowing in from doors and windows makes the cooling system work harder. The more a cooling system has to work, the more energy it is using. For the homeowner, that means a higher electric bill.

When you fix problem areas, you can save up to 25% in energy costs. Window and door draft blockers have been proven as energy savers, reducing the cost of your energy bills. They are easy to use, simple to install with no glue, nails, or fasteners needed. They are also easy to clean by hand and can be air dried. Often times, draft blockers can get wet, but they can be air dried and maintain their efficiency. Draft blockers are a long-lasting solution to improving energy efficiency.

Energy Efficient Doors



Energy Efficient Doors


There are many ways to make your home more energy efficient than ever before. You can replace appliances that use less electricity. You can replace your windows for better insulation.
You can switch out light bulbs to CFLs that put out less heat and use less energy. But you can also change your door to a more energy efficient kind.

Energy efficient doors come in all shapes and sizes. From wood to fiberglass, doors that are made to be eco-friendly give you the advantages you need in order to save on your heating and cooling bills.
Whether you have a sliding glass door or need a replacement front door, there are choices that can give you the chance to improve upon your eco-friendliness.

Fiberglass doors are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to be energy efficient. Not only that, but they can also mimic other door types.
For example, if you want a door that looks like wood, you can get a fiberglass door that is crafted to look like wood grain. The insulation offered by these doors means that in the winter you lose less heat from inside your house and in the summer you lose less cool air.
Your heater or air conditioners do not have to work as hard because the temperature is exactly what you want it to be due to energy efficient doors. Likewise, the insulation these doors offer also keeps the outdoors outside where it belongs. No cold winter air seeping in through cracks or hot summer winds finding their way into your home.

One of the best things about energy efficient doors is that they can help you save money. If you have to use your heater or air conditioning unit less often, then you lower your bills.
Depending upon where you live, this kind of green upgrade can save you hundreds of dollars every year. In addition to saving on bills, energy efficient doors can help to earn you a tax break.
Check to make sure that the doors you are interested in are Energy Star qualified and you can claim them later when tax time rolls around. You might be surprised how much you get just from installing a few doors!

Make the upgrade to energy efficient doors and see what kind of results they can bring. The benefits will be immediately noticeable when you realize your heater or air conditioner switching on less and you feel more comfortable in your home.



Why You Need Energy Efficient Windows



Why You Need Energy Efficient Windows

One of the most effective energy upgrades you can make is to improve your home’s windows. When the words replacement windows are heard, some people’s eyes will begin rolling around as they see them as being an unnecessary addition to their home. But many without the right facts about energy efficient windows and their many benefits that they offer a house and owner.

How about the benefits of energy efficient windows by reducing the growing energy bills and preventing the large amount of heating and cooling from escaping through the windows? Technology has helped improved manufacturing allowing newer windows to be built with a higher efficiency. New energy efficient windows have the highest insulation value, and proper installation will ensure your house is keep warm and cool at the lowest cost. Over time the saving on energy bills will pay for the windows.

How about the benefit of replacement windows paying for themselves immediately after installation? A choice of replacement windows while remodeling the house adds value to your home immediately. This can make people happy when they are spending money to know that they will be getting it back immediately, for the value of the home will go up. When putting your home on the market it will give you 20% better chance of getting an offer with energy efficient windows.

How about the benefit of replacement windows for upgrading the appearance of the house. It is amazing how new windows can give an older house a face-lift making it look younger. However, you can get replacement windows in a huge range of types, styles, and colors. Finally, this offers you an opportunity for a more modern looking house with easier maintenance.

How about the benefits of new windows for adding safety? However, windows come with the newest features with better locks and breaking deterrents. The locks have mechanism preventing them from being opened easily from the outside. Also, some window panes are made where they cannot be cut.

How about the benefits of energy efficient windows helping the environment? Nevertheless, installing new windows is another way to go “green”. Leaks do not only happen in older windows that may have loosened up over the years, also new windows that were not properly installed. According to Energy Star, energy-efficient windows have a low-e glass with a special coating to reflect infrared light and keeps the heat and cooling inside. Provided, they also have multiple panes of glass with argon or krypton gases in between each pane, with multiple panes it helps with doubling and tripling insulation efficiency. Depending on what climate you live in you should look at the Solar Heat Coefficient (SHGC), the lower the SHGC, the less solar heat is passed through.

In conclusion, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the government has started improving a home’s energy efficiency. Finally, by lowering the energy use, owners win in all ways by replacing the houses windows. A newer looking home, with a higher value, with safer windows, with a “green” tag, and a smaller energy bill is what you should expect.


Why Buy Energy Efficient Windows?



Why Buy Energy Efficient Windows?

In a world dominated by the media and television advertising, people are constantly bombarded with new products and ideas. Energy efficient windows have become part of these newly emerging products. Many people know what they are, but don’t realize how they benefit families, homes, and wallets.Buying energy efficient windows can actually help protect your family and home from damage, while saving you money.

Block Harmful Rays

The sun’s rays can be harmful to your family and your valuables. Too much light shinning in your windows can discolor your furniture, pictures, and flooring in your home. The ultraviolet (UV) rays are especially dangerous to your family as an overexposure to them can lead to cancer.

Energy efficient windows use Low – Emittance (Low-E) coatings to help protect your family and valuables from these rays. Low -E coatings are metal or metallic oxide layers on a window surface that reduces radiative heat flow. This metallic coating on the glass can block ninety-eight percent of these harmful rays from entering your house.

Reduce Condensation

Condensation occurs when the window sill gets cold or frozen. A pool of water is created on the windowsill, creating potential problems.

The effects of condensation can be dangerous to your family and your home, because condensation contributes to mold growth and water leakage. Mold can make your family sick and not to mention make your home smell musty.

Installing energy efficient windows can help prevent condensation from occurring. They have advanced frames, glass coatings, spacers, and other advanced technologies that reduce the potential for condensation.

Lower Energy Bills

Energy efficient windows can help you reduce heat loss in your home. Reducing heat loss means that you won’t have to keep pumping heat or air conditioning into your house to keep it at a reasonable temperature. A window can lose heat in four different ways; conduction, radiation, convection, and air leakage.

Conduction is the direct transfer of heat through the window to the outdoors.
Radiation is the movement of heat as infrared energy through the glass.
Convection occurs when air gives up its heat to the cooler glass and sinks toward the floor – this movement sucks new, warmer air toward the glass that is in turn cooled, creating a draft.
Air leakage is simply the passage of heated air through cracks and around weather-stripping.

The rate at which your home loses heat is called the “U Value.” It is scaled from.25 – 1.25, with a low U Value indicating good insulation.

The U Value is lowered in energy efficient windows by using Low-E coating, quality frames, multiple window panes, gas fills, and warm edge spacers. These features help promote good insulation, keeping your home warm in the winter time and cold in the summertime.

Tax Refund

Installing an energy efficient window in your home can result in a tax refund. This is a government incentive to upgrade your home with the latest energy efficient appliances.

As energy efficient windows become more popular, the government won’t feel as obliged to offer incentives for people to buy them. So why not reduce the overall cost of purchasing energy efficient windows by buying them while there is still a generous tax refund available.



Not All Windows Are Energy Efficient Windows



Not All Windows Are Energy Efficient Windows


Most homeowners will ask themselves these questions: do old windows cost me more in heating costs? Can I really save money by replacing my old windows? You may not see the savings right away, but over time you will see the difference in your heating and cooling costs.

Facts About Old Home Windows

Old, drafty home windows are one of the biggest energy enemies in your home. Single-pane glass has an R-value of only 1, and quite often there is no insulation between the window jamb and the rough framing of the window. Old, ineffective caulking around windows allow for large drafts to enter your living space. Those old windows cost homeowners a bundle in heating and cooling costs.

Understanding Energy Efficient Windows

Today’s windows are not the same as the windows from the past. Some windows are now created with new technology to make them much more energy efficient. From edge spacers made from insulated steel to replace old aluminum construction; to tinted glass that is almost unnoticeable; glazing; or the practice of using multiple panes of glass to create a thermal barrier– these new energy efficient windows are great in comparison to older windows.

The Design

Besides glazing and thermal barriers, filling the space between glass panes with gas such as Argon can make a difference as well. Multiple paned windows can be filled with a less conductive gas than regular air. Argon is the most popular gas used to increase the performance of the windows. There is also the option of low e-coating, a clear coating applied to the glass that lets in light, but keeps radiant heat in. Low e-coatings come in different grades, and it is very important to get the best energy efficient window for your climate. A coating that works in colder climates may be too much if you live in an area with a milder climate.

Energy Efficient Windows Can Save You Money

Energy efficient windows have become one way to help save homeowners money. These windows can mean more money in your wallet over time, as they keep the cold air outside during those long winter months, while keeping the cool air inside during the hottest months of summer.

Energy Efficient Windows Help Our Environment

New energy efficient windows are doing some good for the environment at the same time as adding value to your home and helping you maintain your heating and cooling costs. Less energy is required to heat and cool your home, as these windows help keep the cold air out during the winter, you will not have to crank the heat to compensate for loss of warm air through the glass surfaces or drafty cracks along the window, and during the summer months, your air conditioner will not have to compensate to keep the air cool in your living space as the cool air escapes through those same cracks and surfaces.

Why Energy Efficient Windows?



Why Energy Efficient Windows?


Want to save energy in your home? The single most important step is upgrading to energy efficient windows. Old windows, especially wood and aluminum, are notoriously the weakest link in efficiency for any home.

Who are the culprits?

You can blame the glass or glazing in your window. Most older windows are single-glazed, or a single glass pane-thick. Newer energy efficient windows are double or triple-glazed, containing two or three panes of glass hermetically sealed together to prevent air flow. The more glazing, the more energy efficient.

What makes energy efficient windows so great?

* New window manufacturers add coatings or gases between the panes to prevent certain wavelengths of light (solar heat) from entering. This saves you energy.

* Many double-glazed windows have argon gas sealed in between the panes to prevent heat loss.

* The most effective coating used on the glazing itself is called Low-e, or low emissivity, coating. Low-e coating is a thin, nearly invisible coating applied to the glass (or sometimes suspended between two panes) that allows visible light to penetrate, but bars radiant heat waves from doing the same. It also keeps heat inside during the winter months. Low-e coatings are available for application to existing windows to improve energy efficiency (albeit with slightly less effect) without completely replacing the windows.

Windows with low-e coating can save up to 30-50 percent more energy than those without it.

How do I know how efficient my windows are?

You can check the labels stuck to new windows from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). There are several specifications relating to energy efficiency:

* R-value measures the amount of heat lost through the window glass. It’s the same value you’ll find given for the insulation in your walls, doors and any other home product that holds some insulation value. R-value for windows is quite simple. A single-glazed window will have a value of R-1, double-glazed will have an R-2, triple-glazed R-3 and so on.

* U-value is similar to R-value but with time included in the equation. U-value represents the amount of heat lost through the window per hour. U-values show up in the form of decimal points (typically from .20 to 1.20) and the lower the U-value, the more energy efficient the window is.

* Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is a measurement of how much heat the window lets in along with visible light. For homeowners in arid/warm areas or anyone with south facing windows, this is especially important. The lower the coefficient, the less heat is allowed in.

* Visible Transmittance measures on a scale of 0-1 how much light the window allows to pass through. A lower number equals less light.

* Air Leakage (AL) number is vital to a window’s energy efficiency, as this is the reason for the cold drafts from older windows and a top reason why families look to replace those windows. Air leakage is not limited to the window glass; it includes seals, joints, frame, and anywhere that air can pass through. Look for a low AL number – these are the windows that best keep air in or out of the home and reduce the load on your heating & cooling system the most.

All of the above information should be readily available, if not visible on the window itself as it sits in the showroom or warehouse. Another key symbol to look for is the Energy Star label, representing an efficiency standard put together by the US Department of Energy and a must-see if you are hoping to recoup some of the purchase and installation costs by way of energy efficiency tax credit.



Energy Efficient Window Treatments Can Save You A Lot Of Money



Energy Efficient Window Treatments Can Save You A Lot Of Money

In these days of inflation and shrinking salaries, and the move to become more energy efficient, a choice of energy efficient window treatments can save you quite a bit of money over the year on your heating and cooling bills.

Many people who do not own their houses have no control over what kind of windows they have in their homes and apartments, and property owners are notorious for not caring about insulating their houses – the worst power bills I have seen come from the newer apartment complexes that have been built. My home is nearly 3000 square feet and because I have insulated window treatments, insulated doors and a foot of insulation in my attic, my power bills are one third of my daughter-in-law’s bills – and she lives in a brand new, tiny 800 square foot apartment!

I keep telling her she needs to get energy efficient window treatments. It’s hot 10 months of the year here, and by using energy efficient window treatments such as reflective blinds, or window film, she can keep her apartment comfortably cool without having to pull heavy drapes across the windows to block out the sun.

There is a wide range of energy efficient treatments to choose from and most just look like ordinary drapes or blinds. They offer protection against the heat and the cold, so energy efficient window treatments are suitable for every home. They deflect the sun’s heat during the summer months and do not only save you money on power bills, they can also stop your furnishings and carpets from fading.

It’s a fact that windows in a typical home account for half of the heat loss or gain within the house, and that’s more than the attic and the rest of the home’s structure combined. Energy efficient window treatments will also insulate your home against the cold – no more heavy drapes over single pane windows.

Untreated windows that face the sun let in twenty times more heat into your home than an equal area of wall. By taking control of the way the sun’s heat enters your house, you can save on summer energy bills and enjoy a certain amount of free heating in the winter, by reducing power consumption.

Honeycomb cell shades trap the heat and the cold preventing it from getting into the room and surprisingly, wood or faux wood blinds can conserve more energy than roller blinds or aluminum blinds.

Even if you can’t afford to replace your present window treatments all at once, it’s probably easy to figure out which of your windows is least efficient. Do that one first and watch your energy bills go down, then with the money you have saved you can start replacing all the other offending window treatments with energy efficient window treatments.

You can buy some really attractive insulated Roman window blinds, that roll up and down easily, or treat the windows with a darkening or reflective product, so you can still see in and out – it acts like sunglasses for your windows, just like car tinting.

If you want to save some money and stop giving it to the power company, take a look at some of the attractive energy efficient treatments today.


Why Energy Efficient Windows Are a Clear Choice



Why Energy Efficient Windows Are a Clear Choice

Real quick…Here are seven reasons to install energy efficient windows:

Save energy
Save money from using less heating or AC
Add to appearance of the house
Protect a home’s interior furnishings from fading
Higher impact resistance
Make outside noise less audible
Insulate your home better, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer

With reasons like those, it’s no wonder energy efficient windows are all the rage. If your windows need to be repaired or even replaced, consider installing energy efficient windows.

How exactly do I pick out energy efficient windows?

When picking out energy efficient windows, you want to look for windows that are Energy Star certified.

Energy Star was developed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The government program’s purpose is to help individuals and organizations protect the environment through energy efficiency. The standard does not just apply to windows but to other products as well.

For the purpose of this article, we will be taking a look at windows that are Energy Star certified. What makes windows Energy Star certified? Any Energy Star product including windows must meet the following criteria:

Have an NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label. The NFRC tests the insulating quality of the entire window.
Be 40% more efficient than the product usually requires under most building codes.
Reduce energy bills by up to 15%.

Customers cannot just rely on the Energy Star label to pick out a good energy efficient window though. An important consideration for consumers is to select windows that are appropriate for the area of the country in which they live. Energy Star labels windows three ways:

“N” for northern climates
“S” for southern climates
“C” for central climates

The three types of windows are designed to address the heating or cooling concerns in each climate: mostly heating for the Northern Zone, mostly cooling for the Southern Zone, and both heating and cooling for the Central North Zone and Central South Zone.

How Energy Efficient Windows Improve the House Aside from saving energy, energy efficient windows are particularly fantastic in states that can get extremely cold. These windows work to make homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, which becomes particularly evident in states with very cold winters and states with extremely hot summers. With these windows insulating well, homeowners spend less on heating and air conditioning bills. Energy efficient windows also improve the house due to their attractive appearance, though not all energy efficient windows are the same. Homeowners have choices concerning main parts of the window, such as the frame, panes, and spacers.

Parts of the Window

The frame

Look for windows that have fiberglass, wood composites, or vinyl because these materials are better at insulating. One negative aspect of using wood material for framing is that wood can be difficult to maintain, often needing painting after a few years. Thus, if you choose to frame your windows using wood material, it’s advised to get some exterior vinyl or aluminum cladding to cover the wood frame.

Window Panes

If wondering whether having multiple window panes is preferred to having one window pane, remember the phrase ‘Two is Better than One’ or ‘The More the Merrier.’ Two panes of glass with space in between filled with air or krypton or argon insulates better than just one pane of glass does. Certain Energy Star windows have windows with three or more panes of glass, which do the best job of insulating and have greatest the impact resistance as well as improved energy efficiency. Another benefit of multiple panes is that they keep outside noise out better than a single glass pane does.

Low-E glass coating

Low-E coating is a special coating on the window that is great to have. It reflects infrared light to keep heat outside in the summer and inside in the winter. It also reflects ultraviolet light to protect a home’s interior furnishings from fading.

Warm Edge Spacers

Warm edge spacers are great for reducing heat flow and preventing condensation. Made of foam, steel, fiberglass, or vinyl, they keep a window’s glass panes the right distance apart.

Home Security Checklist – Doors and Windows



Home Security Checklist – Doors and Windows

If you want to prevent break-ins and keep burglars out of your home, the best way to start is by securing your doors and windows, since these are the entry points that burglars use in both forced and un-forced intrusions. As far as securing your doors and windows goes, some of the things you should do are common sense – but not everything. Use this home security checklist to make sure you have covered all your bases and have not missed anything in terms of securing the doors and windows to your home.

The following tips are helpful securing your doors:

1. If any of the exterior doors to your home are not sturdily constructed out of a strong material, such as metal or a solid wood, then you should replace them. Do not forget to include basement and garage doors.

2. Make sure that the wood frame is also well built, in good condition, and firmly attached to the rest of the house. Check for rotting wood or gaps. Additionally, you should ensure that it is not possible to remove door hinges from the outside.

3. You should avoid using doors with windows, or even windows close to the door.

4. Make sure all of your doors have deadbolts with at least a 1-inch throw.

5. Increase your home security by never opening the door to anyone without first identifying who it is. Use an intercom or a peephole to do this.

6. If you have a mail slot in your door, make sure the lock cannot be reached by someone sticking an arm through the mail slot.

7. Do you have adequate outdoor lighting around the front, back, and any side doors? If not, you should install it immediately. For optimal home security, use lights with motion sensors.

8. Check to see if your front door can be seen clearly from the street or sidewalk, or from a neighbor’s home. If a burglar feels exposed or visible, they will be more likely to hesitate before breaking into your home. In addition to installing lighting, you can increase visibility around your front door by trimming back any large bushes that might block it from the view of passersby or the neighbors.

9. If you have sliding doors, make sure that they cannot be easily removed from their tracks.

10. If you have a garage, make sure that the door used for the cars has a lock on it.

Here are some home security tips to keep in mind regarding windows:

1. Make sure all windows that can be opened are equipped with strong locks. This goes for basement, garage, and even second and third floor windows, as well as those on the ground floor.

2. For the very best home security, it is a good idea to use security screens or bars on basement and ground floor windows.

3. Make sure accessible windows are not concealed by large bushes or other obstructions, and use outdoor lighting near windows as well as by your doors.

4. Use drapes, curtains, blinds, or other window treatments to keep potential burglars from being able to see inside your home.

Maximize your home security by keeping doors and windows secured. When break-ins do occur, adt alarms provide extra protection.