Are your windows double pane and energy efficient? If not, you will want to know about the latest in window solutions which may no longer include window replacements. I have a friend who recently purchased an old Tudor home with single pane windows. She is understandably nervous about her heating costs this winter. Here are some great options to make her windows more energy efficient and make her home toasty this winter:
Until recently double pane windows were hailed as THE ONLY solution. Handyman installations like sheets of plastic stretched with the heat from a blow dryer were on one side of the spectrum. Fully replaced, new windows on the other. But here are three more in-between solutions for every budget:
#1 Install so-called Storm Sashes made of single sheets of glass and mounted in a metal track/frame ——UGLY! Though it does improve energy efficiency.
Even earlier wooden windows were used but they tended to warp and offered no all-around seal. Metal track systems like the one in shown in the photo were deemed to offer a better barrier but obviously at a huge aesthetic cost. The labor of fitting and then installing these is not insubstantial either –
Overall this is really not a good choice today!
#2 Replacement Windows come in a kit so that insulated tracks are installed on the inside of the frame. Naturally, this reduces the size of the window a bit but a new double pane window offers significantly less leakage. Marvin Windows and Doors are the dominant manufacturer of good replacement windows.
Certainly a proven way to go!
#3 Film - state-of-the art technology! These films / foils are clear and not detectable by the eye.
Luxasolar, a company from The Netherlands is a leader in this technology. Its Luxafoil NV was recently installed on the inside of a huge glass skylight at the European Parliament. Note: Heat rises so leaky skylights are a big problem. Reportedly, it led to an immediate 30% reduction in heating cost AND had the added effect of reducing 99% of the sun’s UV rays. Finally, a reduction in air-conditioning costs was also recorded.
The company states that installation costs amortize over 2-3 years. Of course, if the current trend of increasing heating oil and gas prices continues, your costs will amortize that much faster.
This is a winner – get heat retention in the winter,
and low your AC cost in the summer!