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  Sunday, May 28, 2017  
   
 

 
Re-Energizing for Winter
Improve Inefficiencies in your Home  

As cold weather advances, homeowners throughout the country can expect to see a substantial increase in energy prices. According to the Energy Information Administration, the price for heating oil, natural gas and electricity is projected to jump by nearly 20 percent.

With such high increases this year, homeowners everywhere are giving inefficient windows and doors the cold shoulder. According to a recent study commissioned by a manufacturer of windows and doors, nearly 26 percent of homeowners say what they dislike most about their existing windows and doors is that they are drafty and inefficient. As temperatures outside drop, these inefficiencies quickly turn into rising utility bills.

Energy efficient windows and doors are crucial to maintaining a home’s comfort all year long, but especially during the coldest months. Research shows that homeowners who replace single-pane glass windows with ENERGY STAR qualified products can save $125 to $450 on energy costs annually.

  • Start at the front
: A home’s front door can play a vital role as one of the first lines of defense against the elements. If a door does not close properly or lets in a draft, utility bills will pay the price. Homeowners should check the weather-stripping and any gaps around the door that can let heat escape. If these features cannot be easily fixed, it may be time to replace the door.
  • Material matters
: Vinyl is the preferred choice for replacement windows today. In fact, vinyl represents 65 percent of the window replacement market. Vinyl windows reduce heat transfer and will help better insulate the home. Another feature of energy efficient windows is Low-E glass. Low-E is a silver coating that’s designed to reflect infrared light and keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Most window and door manufacturers offer this option.
  • Drive home efficiency: 
The garage is often forgotten when it comes to energy efficiency, but it’s one of the largest entry points of the home. The temperature of a garage greatly affects the overall temperature of the entire home. For energy savings in the garage, find a proper-fitting garage door and make sure that the door leading from the garage to the inside of the home is also energy efficient.
  • Energy efficiency pays off: 
Beyond the initial purchase price of a product, consider the long-term value that energy efficient products offer in terms of annual measurable savings. In addition, many local utilities offer rebates for purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors. To find available rebates or incentives, visit ENERGY STAR’s Rebate Finder at www.energystar.gov.
  • Give your home an energy makeover
: A survey or audit of a home’s energy usage and costs can identify specific ways to reduce home energy bills. Many state energy offices and local electric and gas utilities offer energy audit services, or may be able to provide other sources for this service.