By Gates Dearen
With winter being just around the corner, I thought I would take the time to tell you what you need to do to keep Jack Frost at bay. When it comes to keeping your home warm and snug when it’s cold outside, your home’s first line of defense is its windows. That being said, if your house was built 20 or more years ago, this is also the place that is the path of least resistance for winter to get an icy grip.
Windows are not like wine. They don’t improve with age. As the years go by, the environment takes its toll on windows. Everything from windowpanes to sills and weather stripping slowly but surely gets eroded by wind and weather. If you find that you frequently need to apply paint, putty, and caulk to keep out drafts, it’s time to think about replacing your windows.
Heat transfer is another way your windows could be robbing you blind. If your windows are single-paned, they conspire with the elements to reduce energy-efficiency that causes your heater to run overtime. The simplest way to test this theory is to place your palm against a window. If the pane feels icy cold, this means that the cold outside is being rapidly transferred inside your home. Double pane windows can remedy this situation and save you money on utility bills in both the winter and the summer when your HVAC unit runs the most. (This helps extend the life of your HVAC unit as well.)
Another way in which old, inefficient windows can rob you is by fading furniture and fixtures. Older windows were not made to reduce ultraviolet radiation that is produced by the Sun. As a result, the UV radiation is allowed to do its worst on everything inside your home. Today’s replacement windows come equipped with UV shielding that will keep your furnishings from taking a beating. They will also reduce your AC bills in the summer when the Sun’s rays would otherwise heat the interior of your home via the windows.
The Acid Test
How do you know when it’s time to replace your windows? The simplest way to determine this is to inspect the windows both inside and out.
Outside – This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to energy loss. Walk around the outside of your home and take a close look at your windows. Do you notice any cracks in panes or weather stripping? If you touch the window panes with your fingers, does the glass move at all? Can you feel any warm air seeping out around the edges of the panes?
Inside – Do you see any moisture on the inside of the windows? If you do, this is a sure sign of energy loss. Open and close the windows. Do they slide easily when being opened or closed? Do any of the panes rattle? Look around the interior of your home and check to see if any of your furnishings have been faded by the Sun’s rays. Any of these are sure signs that you are losing money every time your heater comes on.
If your home’s windows fail the test, do not panic. The realization that your home could be more energy efficient is just the tip of the iceberg. Old windows don’t simply cost more in terms of wasted energy; they can also be a safety issue. If windows don’t open or close easily, this could present a problem should you ever need to exit your home in the event of a fire. If windows don’t lock properly, this makes it easy for a burglar or vandals to access your home. If you live in Florida, worn windows could cost you dearly the next time a hurricane passes through the area.
So Many Windows. So Little Time.
|Courtesy of Homeritejacksonville.com|
Window design and manufacture have dramatically improved over the past few years. There have been marked improvements in both the materials used and the manufacturing technology applied to replacement windows. Double pane windows that offer UV protection are now the industry standard. If you live where windstorms are the norm, replacement windows offer far better protection from wind and weather than those manufactured 20-years ago.
Modern replacement windows also come in a variety of materials including aluminum and vinyl. New windows not only improve the energy efficiency of a home, they reduce the level of outside noise from penetrating into the home. They also reduce the amount of maintenance required, since aluminum or vinyl windows never need to be repainted. Last, but not least, they improve the curb appeal of a house, which aside from the pride of ownership, can also mean real dollars and cents if you decide to sell your home.
If you are still sitting on the fence when it comes to replacing your windows, don’t wait. Talk to a professional, and get a free estimate. If you would like more information about HomeRite’s energy-efficient line of windows and doors, call (904) 296-2515 or visit our showroom at 4801 Executive Park Court, Building 200, Suite 207, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Because when it comes to taking the fangs out of Old Man Winter, new windows can make winter a pleasure.
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 2005. 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-winning installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.