Home Energy Weak Spots

money%20wondow.jpgAccording to a recent study commissioned by JELD-WEN, a manufacturer of windows and doors, nearly 26 percent of homeowners say what they dislike most about their existing windows and doors is that they are drafty and inefficient. As the temperature outside drops, it’s hard not to notice that these inefficiencies quickly turn into rising utility bills.
As much as half of the energy used in a home goes toward heating and cooling, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Homeowners who replace single-pane glass windows with ENERGY STAR qualified products can save $125 to $450 on energy costs annually, according to ENERGY STAR.
To maximize a home’s energy efficiency, consider the following tips:

Front Door
A home’s front door can play a vital role as one of the first lines of defense against the energy sucking elements. If a door does not close properly or lets in a draft, a homeowner’s utility bills can pay the price. Be sure to check the weather-stripping and any gaps around the door that can let heat escape. If these features cannot be easily fixed, it may be time to replace the door.
Insulated Low-E glass is an important step in making a room more energy efficient because the special coating helps reflect some of the interior heat back into the home. Double-paned windows also greatly enhance energy efficiency, compared to single-paned windows.
Vinyl windows are popular because of their low maintenance and energy efficient features. For homeowners who prefer wood windows, manufacturers like JELD-WEN have introduced “pocket” replacement windows that come with Low-E glass and are designed for installation into existing window frames.
The garage is often forgotten when it comes to energy efficiency, but it’s one of the critical entry points of the home. The temperature of a garage does affect the overall temperature of the entire home. For energy savings in the garage check the seals and it doesn’t hurt to insulate the garage as you would your home. Make sure that the door leading from the garage to the inside of the home is also well sealed and energy efficient.
Energy Efficiency Pays
Consider the long-term value that energy efficient products offer in terms of annual measurable savings. Calculate the savings over time and you will find that the upgrades in products pay for themselves as well as increase the value of your property. The government is dangling incentives for those who make energy efficient updates to their home, you may qualify for up to $500 in federal tax credits if certified doors or windows are installed by Dec. 31, 2007.
By the numbers the tax credit for replacing exterior windows is 10 percent the product cost, up to $200. The credit for exterior doors is 10 percent of the product cost, up to $500. The maximum amount of homeowner tax credit for all improvements is $500.

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