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Energy Efficiency 101: How Windows and Doors Can Save You Money


For homeowners looking to trim their bills and reduce their environmental impact, energy efficiency is a crucial consideration. The housing structure acts as a shell, which means every single component of your home is vital in maintaining optimal energy performance. Windows and doors, in particular, are often overlooked despite being significant sources of energy loss if not properly maintained or installed.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the direct impact of windows and doors on your home’s energy efficiency and provide you with essential information to make wise, cost-saving decisions.

Understanding Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is the intelligent use of available resources to complete necessary tasks. When applied to a home, it’s about getting the most out of the energy you consume – ensuring that your heating or cooling efforts don’t vanish through poor insulation or inefficient building components.

Why Does it Matter?

The reasons to care about energy efficiency are many-fold. Firstly, there’s the immediate financial benefit of reduced utility bills. But also, less wasted energy means a reduced carbon footprint and a more environmentally friendly home. There’s the added comfort of better control over indoor temperatures, which is crucial during extreme weather.

Signs Your Windows and Doors Need an Upgrade

Identifying the telltale signs that your windows and doors are not up to par is critical in enhancing your home’s energy efficiency.

Drafts and Air Leaks

A noticeable draft near windows or doors usually indicates air seepage, a leading cause of energy inefficiency and home discomfort.

Decaying Frames

Rotted or warped window frames can lead to significant air leakage and often indicate further issues with insulation or water damage.

Fogging or Condensation

Moisture between double-paned windows suggests seals are broken and insulation values are compromised.

Difficulty Opening and Closing

This typically signifies a structural issue with the window or door placing strain on their seals and latches.

Benefits of Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

Installing energy-efficient windows and doors is not just a home improvement; it’s an investment towards a sustainable and cost-effective future.

Lower Energy Bills

Replacing single-pane windows with Energy Star-rated models can save an average U.S. homeowner about 12% on their energy bill, equating to $101 to $583 a year.

Enhanced Home Comfort

Better windows and doors mean fewer cold or hot spots in the home and improved everyday comfort for residents.

Reduced Noise Pollution

High-efficiency windows and doors can significantly reduce the intrusion of outside noise, providing a quieter environment.

Enhanced Property Value

Energy Star-labeled windows and doors can increase property value, a key consideration for homeowners looking to sell.

How to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

Choosing the right energy-efficient windows and doors is paramount in maximizing your home’s thermal performance and minimizing energy costs.

Understand Energy Performance Ratings

Look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label which rates energy performance in several key categories.

Choose the Right Glass

Double- or triple-pane windows with low-emissivity coatings and inert gases between panes offer some of the best insulative qualities.

Invest in Good Frames

Frame materials like wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or composite reinforce energy efficiency and durability. If you’re considering window replacement, Cottonwood Heights has many reputable companies offering energy-efficient options.

Consider the Orientation of Your Home

Different window and door types are better suited to different orientations, so consider this when making your selection. For example, south-facing windows are best for solar heat gain in colder climates.

Regular Maintenance Tips for Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

Ensuring the long-term energy efficiency of your windows and doors requires regular maintenance. Here are some helpful tips to keep them performing at their best:

Check for Air Leaks

Use a lit candle or incense stick near windows and doors to detect drafts. If you find any, use weatherstripping or caulk to seal gaps.

Clean and Inspect Regularly

Dirt, debris, and worn-out components can compromise the energy efficiency of your windows and doors. Regular cleaning and inspection can help keep them in optimal condition.

Re-caulk When Necessary

Caulking helps seal gaps and prevent air leaks, so be sure to re-caulk any damaged or worn-out areas regularly.


Investing in energy-efficient windows and doors is a smart choice for homeowners looking to save on their bills, reduce their environmental impact, and increase the value of their property. By understanding how these components work and choosing the right ones for your home, you can improve energy efficiency and enjoy a more comfortable living space.

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