KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – To prepare for summer’s energy costs, homeowners are seeking out building materials that save energy, money and the environment.
Traditionally homeowners focused on energy efficiency during the winter months to stay warm while reducing heating costs. However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, today nearly two-thirds of all homes in the U.S. have air conditioners, which has caused homeowners to keep energy efficiency top of mind even during the summer months.
Upgrading a home with energy efficient products, such as energy-saving windows and doors, high efficiency air conditioners and compact fluorescent light bulbs, can return significant savings over time. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Energy studies, a typical homeowner replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR® qualified windows can expect to realize savings ranging from $126 to $465 a year in energy bills.
JELD-WEN, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of reliable windows and doors, offers this advice when it comes to selecting windows and doors designed to beat the heat:
- Select Low-E glass – In summer, the special coating on Low-E glass reduces the amount of heat entering the home, lowering cooling needs. In winter, Low-E helps keep heat inside the home. Low-E glass comes standard in most JELD-WEN® windows.
- Choose ENERGY STAR products – The easiest way to determine whether or not windows and doors will deliver optimal energy savings in your region is to look for the ENERGY STAR label. Depending on your climate, the savings can be considerable. JELD-WEN offers ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors in a variety of materials and sizes, depending on the geographic region.
- Understand industry ratings – A product’s efficiency is measured in a number of ways, so it’s important to base choices on industry certifications. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) conducts tests for energy efficiency based on the entire product, not just the glass. In addition to Low-E glass, efficiency ratings are based on the following:
- U-factor: The amount of heat flowing through a product. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the product is.
- Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): Indicates the ability to block heat generated by sunlight. The greater the blockage, the lower the SHGC.
- Visible light transmission: The percentage of sunlight that penetrates a window or door. A higher number means more light enters through the glass.
For more spring and summer energy efficiency advice, JELD-WEN Windows and Doors offers homeowners the following tips to keep cool:
- Shield the sun: Draw blinds to block and reflect the sun’s heat from entering the home during the day.
- Shut out high temperatures: Close both internal and external doors to keep heat from being distributed and raising temperatures throughout the house.
- Grow your savings: Plant trees or shrubs to shade the home and air conditioning units. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, properly planting just three trees near a house can save homeowners between $100 and $250 a year in heating and cooling costs.
- Get with the program: Use programmable thermostats to control the temperatures of air conditioning and hot water heaters.
- Air it out: Increase air circulation by cracking open windows during cooler parts of the day such as early morning or evening hours, and using portable or ceiling fans, which consume less energy than central air conditioning.
- Select the right products: Choose energy efficient windows and doors by looking for those with the ENERGY STAR label.