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One Last Blast

By Gates Dearen

Ah yes, its March, the time of year when winter meets the spring. As we all know this is when Old Man Winter tries so desperately not to lose his icy grip to warmer weather. So traditionally speaking March is that month that gives us that one last blast of winter as we all welcome the warmth
Knocknarea Icy Window
Knocknarea Icy Window (Photo credit: Anna Leask)
of spring. Now for those of us down here in Florida, March has actually been colder than February, but that’s beside the point. Whether you live up north or south it doesn’t make a difference. It is also the time of year when we should ask ourselves about our energy cost and did my windows and doors benefit me this year?  Or did they cost me?  Today’s article is about just that. I’m going to provide you with a simple checklist of things you can do to find out if your windows and doors are in a winning arena or if they’re fighting a losing war and gradually costing you more year after year.


1. Do a visual inspection of your windows and doors. I know this is the obvious but things can appear that were not there last year. Look for cracking around the perimeter of your windows and doors, spaces or gaps. Look for condensation between the panes of glass. You can use a flashlight to shine around the perimeter of your closed doors. With the aid of someone on the opposite side. If your aid can see light coming through, then air is coming through as well.

2. Hands on. Physically open each window to see that is in good operation. If you have trouble opening the window or if it sticks half way this is an indication of swelling and possible
Caulk Roads 1 of 4
Caulk Roads 1 of 4 (Photo credit: WireLizard)
 water damage. Either way your window is under stress and you’re not getting the maximum benefit for your home.

3. By using a flame such as a lighter or candle look for flame flicker around the perimeter of your windows and sashes. This is an indication that drafts are infiltrating through your windows. If there is a clear indication of the flame flickering or get blown out there is no question that you are paying a higher energy bill than you have to. This is certainly a time to really consider replacing your windows.

4Weather Stripping. Examine the weather stripping on your windows and doors. Replacing the weather stripping can certainly reduce drafts and may be all that you need. This is certainly a preventative maintenance procedure. What it really comes down to is the age and quality of the window or door.

5. Your Cost. Compare your energy bill from last year .If you received an increase from the electric or gas company you will need to subtract that percentage from the equation. If you still notice that your energy cost are higher than last year then that’s a clear indication that you're losing more money each year.


taxes (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
Almost every homeowner receives a tax break or deductible when installing an energy efficient product into or onto their home.  I advise that when considering a purchase look for
the yellow energy star. This indicates that the federal government has determined that this meets high energy standard and regulations .This typically means that you will be entitled to the energy saving deduction. As always check with your window expert or your accountant.


Before I sum this up, I wanted to share with you a quick story. My friend Mike has a home that has a living room with four Lazy Boy recliners. Nobody wanted to sit on the recliner nearest to the window because it had such a draft. One day I finally talked Mike into replacing that window. Now it’s the best seat in that room and that room is the most comfortable one in the house. His energy bill has decreased and he is happy in many ways. 

It’s not just about saving money, we work hard to help our clients achieve their home ownership goals. Your home shouldn’t be uncomfortable, it should provide you with the full use and enjoyment of that living space. Thank you for reading this article. I certainly hope you found it interesting and helpful. If you have any comments post them in that section and share this article with your friends. If you have other ideas we'd like to hear from you. Until next time, enjoy your home.

Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Door in Jacksonville Florida.  Owners Gates Dearen and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They know the products, the industry, the market and what adds great value to a home.  Their approach is a little different. They're simply looking to match the home owner with the right windows for their home and   budget. Home improvements are enough of a hassle – they’re here to make life easier with first-rate, energy efficient products, affordable prices, installers that know best practices and who have respect of your home.

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  1. One last blast is right! It's way colder outside than it should be on the first day of spring in north Florida. It's also the perfect to check your windows before you need to beat the heat next month.

  2. Wasting energy is like watching your money go up in smoke. One of the best investments I made in my home was replacing all the windows with more energy efficient models. They more than paid for themselves.

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