Taking a closer look at Windows
Window Replacement: Consider purchasing double pane low-E argon gas filled SHGC <0.25 windows or better on performance.
When selecting windows for energy efficiency, it’s important to first consider their energy performance ratings in relation to your climate and your home’s design. This will help narrow your selection. Select windows with both U-factors and low SHGCs to maximize energy savings in temperature climates with both cold and hot seasons. Look for whole-unit U-factors and SHGcs, rather than center-of-glass (COG) U-factors and SHGCs. Whole-unit numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product.
A window’s energy efficiency is dependent upon all of its components. Window frames conduct heat, contributing to a window’s overall energy efficiency, particularly its U-factor. Glazing or glass technologies have become very sophisticated, and designers often specify different types of glazing or glass for different windows, based on orientation, climate building design, etc.
Tips for Sealing Air Leaks
- Test your home for air tightness.
- Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
- Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
- Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Inspect dirty spots in your insulation for air leaks and mold. Seal leaks with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose and install house flashing if needed.
- Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists, and caulk them.
- Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low-emissivity windows.
- Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
- Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use.
- Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
- Replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets.
- Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.
- Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheet rock and furnace cement caulk.