5 Steps to Take If Your Windows and Doors Are Inefficient
So you’ve lowered your air conditioning and heating needs, you’ve made sure that you don’t keep any lights on unnecessarily, and you’ve made an effort to turn off electronic devices when they aren’t in use. But your energy bills are still higher than you anticipated. What are you doing wrong?
In many cases, the issue lies with your doors and windows. Quite often, cool and hot air can escape through windows and doors. This leads to your HVAC system overcompensating in order to make up for the loss, which can ultimately result in your energy bills rising. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that that air leaks around your windows and doors can add up to 10% to your heating bills. Therefore, you should consider how you can best cut down your energy bills through your doors and windows. Is it possible that you would lose less energy if your sliding glass doors were updated? Should you consider different types of replacement windows? Let’s explore the different options below.
1. Have Seals Inspected
You should consider having the seals for your entry doors and windows inspected before you move forward with any replacements. It’s possible that the seals themselves could be mended before you spend on any outright replacements. Although sliding glass doors are attractive, some of them may have seals that are less secure. Therefore, you should see if your doors and windows are even capable of sealing properly first, as this could be the issue you’re dealing with.
2. Consider the Materials
Different door and window materials offer different results in terms of energy efficiency. For example, wooden frames may be more prone to rot, which ultimately results in more air escaping your home. Vinyl is a different material that you should consider for both windows and doors. Vinyl offers a certain level of insulation that traps heat within the home whether you’re using sliding glass doors and French doors. Metal frames are similarly energy efficient, as are fiberglass frames. You should keep this in mind as you begin updating the doors and windows within your home.
3. Think About Age
Did you invest in an older home? It’s possible that your windows and doors, regardless of their types or the materials from which they are made, need to be updated. Certain materials do last longer than others. As previously mentioned, wooden frames can be more prone to damage and rot, which would mean that they need to be replaced sooner than metal, vinyl, or fiberglass frames. If you can determine your door and window frames are more than 20 years old, you should consider having them replaced sooner rather than later.
4. Change the Style
It’s possible that you may be better off with different styles of windows and doors. If your French doors need to be replaced anyway, you may want to think about replacing them with doors that will better accommodate your energy needs. If you invest in sliding glass doors that are designed to be energy efficient with locking air chambers, you may be able to lower your energy bills significantly. For that matter, this is a great time to consider updating the appearance of your home.
5. Invest in Energy-Efficient Frames
Of course, you don’t have to change the style of your doors and windows in order to update them. Keep in mind that you can simply have them replaced with energy-efficient versions of the same styles.
You have options available as a homeowner if you want to lower your energy bills. The cause of the issue could be much simpler than you think or it could require you to replace your windows and doors entirely. No matter what the issue may be, approach it carefully and don’t jump to conclusions.