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Best tips for energy savings during the winter months

Windows by HomeRite
With the temperatures cooling, one of the nice things about this time of year is being able to open the windows and feel a nice breeze wafting through the house. However, sometimes when you want to open the windows, it’s difficult. Likewise, when you want to close the windows to keep the rain or the wind out, they might stick a little bit. As a rule, windows should open and close easily.
One of the keys to having an energy efficient home is to have windows and doors that seal the house properly. This enables homeowners to keep cold air out in the winter and hot air out in the summer. Fall is a great time of the year to check your windows and doors to make sure they’re functioning properly. If you’ve been thinking at all about getting replacement windows or a new door for your entryway, this is a very good time of year to look into that as well.
Here are some of the things to look for when inspecting your windows and doors:
Check window sills and tracks for dirt and other debris. Open the windows and clean out the area with a soft brush or a damp rag. Debris can keep the window from closing all the way. This can create a gap that will allow cold air to come in. If you have sliding patio doors or windows that slide horizontally, clean out those tracks as well. A small twig or pebble can keep them from closing all the way. Your windows and doors will slide more easily after removing any debris.
Windows by HomeRite
Check the weather stripping around doors. If it has come loose in places, re-attach it. Replace any pieces that are ripped or torn. Also, weather stripping can flatten out over time. If that happens, it will not properly close gaps where cold air can come in. In that case, the old weather stripping may need to be replaced. The gaps around doors should be even all the way around. If they are not even, it could be difficult to seal them to eliminate any drafts.  
Open and close the locking mechanisms on the windows and make adjustments if they seem loose or they don’t operate smoothly. In addition to keeping potential intruders out, locks also seal the windows and save you money on heating and cooling costs. A proper seal helps to keep out cold air, rain, wind, and even insects. Most new windows have locks that can be adjusted. Some older windows can’t be adjusted at all.
If your windows have any weep holes and breather holes, take a look at them and clean them if necessary. Weep holes allow excess moisture to escape. Breather holes allow an air exchange within certain window components.
Check sealants and caulking on and around windows, inside and out. After years of expanding and contracting, caulk and sealants can become brittle or even develop cracks which allow cold air to enter the home. If you’ve had your windows long enough for this to happen, it may be time to look into getting replacements.
Windows by HomeRite
If you live near the beach, rinse and wipe the exterior metal components of windows and doors. This will minimize corrosion from salt in the air. If you live near the beach, you might want to do this task quarterly.
Unfortunately, some windows can’t be repaired sufficiently to seal them against the winter weather. Some windows are just too outdated and worn to be fixed. They simply will not keep the cold air out. For example, aluminum windows with a single pane of glass were very popular in Jacksonville in the last century. There are still lots of homes in Jacksonville with that style of window. When those old windows get loose in the frames, there’s no way to get a proper seal to keep the cold air out. When those windows go bad, they act more like vents than windows. They may slow the flow of cold air down, but they can’t stop it. The only way to get a good seal again is to replace them.
An old aluminum window.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “If your home has very old and/or inefficient windows, it might be more cost-effective to replace them than to try to improve their energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs. When properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs. Improving window performance in your home involves design, selection, and installation.”
Replacement window by HomeRite
The windows that are now being sold are much more energy efficient than windows that were available twenty or more years ago. Many windows currently on the market have two or even three panes of glass. The air between the panes provides a layer of insulation. Windows with insulating foam in the frames and Argon gas are also available now. These provide superior energy-efficiency. The great thing about replacement windows is that they start paying for themselves as soon as they are installed, in the form of energy savings.
Vinyl Single Hung Windows
Vinyl Single hung windows operate vertically. The sash weight is offset by a counterbalancing mechanism mounted in the window. The vinyl single hung window features a stationary top and a movable bottom half. One or more locking devices are furnished to secure the sash in the closed position. Vinyl windows are available with double panes or triple panes for added energy efficiency.
Vinyl Double Hung Windows
Vinyl double hung windows have an upper (outside) sash that slides down, and a lower (inside) sash that slides up. Both the upper and lower halves can be slid up and down.  Vinyl double hung windows are among the most popular on the market. HomeRite’s double hung windows normally have a counter balance mechanism to hold the sash in place.
For more information about HomeRite’s energy efficient line of windows and doors, call 296-2515 or visit their showroom at 4801 Executive Park Court, Building 200, Suite 207, Jacksonville; FL 32216.
In this article, I’ve outlined several things homeowners can check in regard to their windows and doors to make sure they seal properly. Windows and doors that don’t seal properly allow air to come in – cold air in the winter and hot air in the summer. This reduces the energy efficiency of a home.
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HomeRite is a window and door dealer that specializes in energy efficient, quality windows with warranties and service to match. The company has been in business since 1979. HomeRite has partnered with a manufacturer that has been producing high quality products and providing excellent customer service for over 60 years. Windows and doors from HomeRite are some of the highest quality, most thermally efficient windows and doors on the market.
HomeRite products add substantial value to their clients’ properties. HomeRite is a member of the United States Green Building Council, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders across the industry working to advance environmentally responsible buildings.
Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They strive to match homeowners with the right windows and doors for their homes and budgets. They make the home improvement process pleasant with first-rate, energy-efficient products, affordable pricing, and award-wining installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.