H&R Block has a great campaign going for this year’s tax season, with a tag line that reads, “Get your billion back America”. While you may not have a tax refund this year, you can still recoup some of your losses by ensuring that your windows are energy-efficient. Each year, local utility agencies embark upon a campaign of consumer education about the various ways and means that citizens can reduce the amount of heat that leaks out, and cold air at that seeps in, through poorly insulated windows.
Double-paned glass, energy efficient windows can reduce heat loss by up to 25%, according to the United States Department of Energy. This heat loss shows up on higher utility bills. When you think you’re feeling a draft coming from the outside, it can simply be a thermal current shifting cooler air around, which happens frequently with thinner windows. This is due to two major features of double-paned windows: a gas barrier and the material of the window.
What Makes Double-Paned Windows So Thermal Efficient?
Two gases, krypton or argon, both of which are denser than the Earth’s atmosphere, are injected into this glass, making it substantially more difficult for cold to penetrate. So while double the glass does help, it’s the gas between them that provides the additional insulation. The glass in these windows is also specially tempered and coated with a high R-value microfilm, fortifying its the resistance to cold.
Tips to Spare the Air and Your Allergies
- If you’re allergic to pollen, keep your windows closed, opt for air conditioning, and avoid using fans.
- Covering air conditioning vents with cheesecloth will help filter out pollen. If necessary, choose high efficiency particulate air filters and clean them frequently. Clean air ducts at least once a year.
- By managing your humidity (50% or less), you can prevent mold growth, a known allergen.
- Install dehumidifiers in dank areas where molds tend to collect.
- Think twice before purchasing dust-happy blinds or long drapes and replace old drapes with window shades.
- Installing ENERGY STAR certified windows can lower energy bills by as much as $126–$465 per year.
By: Paul Doh