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Is Your Home Ready for the Holidays?

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By Gates Dearen

With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, I thought I’d take the time to help you find out if your home is ready for the holidays.  While we Floridians don’t spend a lot of time dashing through the snow, the weather can turn downright nippy during the winter months.  As I write this blog, the high is 50 and the low tonight will be just above freezing.  While that’s nothing to all you who moved here from places like Chicago or Minneapolis, every Floridian will notice a difference in their next electric bill as we make the transition from autumn to winter.

When the Weather Outside is Frightful…

While all of us notice a change in the weather this time of year, retirees are especially susceptible to the cold winter winds.  While outside, they can always add another layer of clothing, as well as a pair of gloves and a hat to stay warm.  However, if their windows and doors have seen better days, and the weather-stripping around them is equally old, those cold winds of December, January and February can wind up whistling through the interior of their homes.

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Aside from feeling cold frequently in the winter, older people are more prone to catching cold, and the flu.  This is true for youngsters, as well.  Before winter winds fully arrive, we should all inspect our doors and windows for cracks, leaks and loose windowpanes.  If you can see daylight coming in when your doors are closed, that’s a sure sign that the weather-stripping is either cracked, compressed or missing.  If your windows rattle when opened, or they cannot be locked when closed, they should be repaired or replaced.

Don’t get “Grinched” by the Utility Company.

While it may cost a few dollars to repair or replace worn, damaged or old windows and doors, you are going to wind up paying for them one way or the other.  If your heater seems to run nonstop on those nights when the temperature is at or below freezing, you are literally seeing your money go up in smoke.  Not only does this force you to pay the utility companies more than you should, sooner or later the stress on your heating and air conditioning system will take a toll as well.  That’s because the harder your HVAC system is forced to work, the more service calls and the shorter its useful life will be.

Here are a few other considerations to add to the cost of faulty windows and doors:

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1.     The harder your heater works during the winter, the more often you need to change the filters. 
2.     If you have a fireplace and your house seems cold, you probably go through a cord of wood or so during the winter instead of only lighting a fire from time to time. 
3.     The cost of doctor visits for your family, due to living in a drafty home.
4.     The possibility of getting “Grinched”; if your windows don’t lock, there is an open opportunity for burglars.  How do you even put a price on this possibility?

The Gift that Keeps on Giving.

While you may spend a lot of time and money this time of year, scouring the malls and the Internet looking for the perfect gifts, one of the best gifts you can give your family could be new windows and doors.
1.     If you want your home to be secure, you need to make a burglar’s job tough.  Particularly if your home is at least 20-years-old, security features of windows and doors have come a long way.  With modern replacement windows, you never have to worry about leaving your windows ajar when its warm, since letting in the breeze doesn’t compromise their security.  That’s because modern replacement windows have locks designed to let air in, and still keep crooks out. 
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2.     If you want to pay lower utility bills, replacement windows are far more energy efficient than those manufactured even 10-years ago.  How much can you save?  According to the US Department of Energy, 25-30% of energy used to heat, and cool residential homes is lost through windows.  
3.     Another benefit is decreased wear and tear on your HVAC system, as well as drapes, carpets, and furniture, since modern replacement windows are designed to not only keep the cold out, they are guaranteed to block harmful UV rays that can quickly fade your furnishings from the harsh Florida sun.
4.     New windows and doors increase the value of your home.  If you are considering selling your home sometime in the future, adding to its curb appeal can substantially add value.

Is Wintertime the right time to replace your Windows and Doors?

While some people tend to get cold feet when it comes to having their windows installed in the dead of winter, a professional window installation team can usually get the job done in less than a day.  It’s not like replacing a roof.  Windows are much quicker to replace. And unlike a roofing job, window replacement can be done a room at a time, which minimizes the heat and energy loss.
If you’re ready to consider replacing your windows, and or doors, contact us at HomeRite Windows and Doors by calling (904) 296-2515 or visit our showroom at 4801 Executive Park Court, Building 200, Suite 207, Jacksonville; FL 32216.

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Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. He andRichard 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.


  1. It's so true. I updated my windows a couple of years ago and I immediately save about 25% on my electric bill. Plus my windows are easier to clean and look beautiful. They also have better locks on them as well.

  2. It's hard enough keeping jack frost from nipping at your toes. Don't let him sink his teeth into your wallet as well.