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Keeping Your Home Warm: Are Your Windows Ready for Winter?

Windows provide great views and fresh air, but they can also
be a source of hiked energy bills. As winter approaches, if you have old and
drafty windows, you need to start thinking about replacing them with new and
energy efficient ones. The following are some points that you need to consider
in that regard.

Green windows

In the past, the government has awarded federal tax credits
of as much as $1500 to people that decided to change their windows. This shows
how important going green is when installing windows. Statistics show that a
simple change in the windows can drop your energy bills by up to 30 percent
annually if windows with the right amount type of insulation are installed.

Window ratings

When replacing the windows, keep in mind the rating. This is
the index that determines how energy efficient the windows are. The government
site Energy Star, gives information about ratings for different window types.
The two factors that are important in determining the index are:
•                   
The U factor- This is the rate of heat loss for
an entire window.
•                   
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – the
rate at which the window absorbs heat from the sun.
In both cases, the value should be as little as possible. To
get a federal tax credit, the windows you install must have a value of less
than or equal to 0.3.

Gauging if Your Windows Are Winter Ready

Indicators that your windows aren’t ready for winter include
higher energy bills in the cold seasons, feeling a temperature drop when you
walk past a window, draftiness, rustling curtains even when windows are closed
and relying on storm windows for winter insulation. If you are experiencing any
of these signs, then that means that your windows are either not properly
sealed or insulated. If the problem is insulation, products such as expanding
foam and fiberglass can be used. Minimally expanding foam is ideal when the
space is less than an inch while fiberglass will be good for spaces that are
more than an inch.

The benefits of using casement windows

Utilizing manufacturers, such as Gilkey Windows,
that offer casement windows are probably your best option when it comes to
staying warm in winter and saving you energy bills. This type of window can
benefit you in these four ways:
•                   
Have triple weather stripping for energy
efficiency
•                   
Can accommodate low E-glazing.
•                   
Can withstand strong winds of up to 220 Mph
•                   
Will have enough internal chambers increasing
their ability to insulate against both heat and sound.
Such windows would be recommended as a replacement before
winter sets in. Note that a simple act of replacing widows could also greatly
increase the resale value of your home.

Winter is coming soon, and so you should definitely check
every window in your house for any sign of a draft or inability to keep out the
cold. If you find any sign that indicates a problem, don’t hesitate to get it
fixed. It is best to prepare your windows now before it is too late.