Energy-efficient windows use many different tools, such as insulating gasses to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. However, they are also incredibly expensive, and you need to replace all your windows to get the great benefits. If you simply can't afford energy-efficient windows but want to lower your heating and cooling bills, check out these four alternatives to energy-efficient windows.
Energy-Efficient Window Films
Energy-efficient window films mimic some of the properties energy-efficient windows have. Energy-efficient windows are able to block out certain rays of light. Particularly, they block out light you can't see, such as UV light. Although you can't see this light, it can still heat up your home during the summer, forcing you to use more power to cool.
Energy-efficient window films aren't as effective as actual energy-efficient windows, but they can reduce solar heat gain in your home by up to 70 percent. Just make sure you install them on every window. Unlike energy-efficient windows, these films won't increase the value of your home, but because they block UV light, they will protect the interior of your home from fading due to UV exposure.
Awnings are a great way to keep your home cooler in the summer because they actually block the sunlight from hitting your windows and entering your home. Similar to window films, they can reduce the solar heat gain in your home by 65 to 77 percent. Windows that face the south and west get the most benefit from awnings.
The nice thing about awnings is that they don't affect heat gain during the winter. No, they can't keep your home warmer by holding in heat, but during the winter, the sun sits lower in the sky. This allows the sunlight to enter your windows despite having awnings during the cooler months, and this is a free, green way to heat your home.
Most people have blinds or curtains to cover their windows. These are great for keeping the sun out of your eyes and for privacy. You probably know from personal experience that if direct sunlight is hitting you, you are warmer. Therefore blinds and curtains can keep your home cooler, but they aren't the best way to stop the transfer of heat.
Insulated drapes work by hindering the transfer of heat into or out of your home. Regular blinds may block some heat by blocking some sunlight from entering. However, insulated drapes work like an insulated cup to keep heat where it belongs. They can keep your home cooler during the summer by letting less heat in, but they also prevent heat from escaping your home during the winter.
If you've tried other options but still want to lower your bills, and you have old, aluminum windows, consider installing vinyl windows. Vinyl windows are not nearly as expensive as energy-efficient windows. In fact, they are one of the cheapest options, costing as little as $200.
However, despite their low price, vinyl windows are rather energy efficient thanks to their vinyl frames. You won't get features like low-E window covers and insulating gasses, but the vinyl is less prone to heat transfer than metal, and vinyl doesn't expand or contract much during extreme temperatures.
Installing energy-efficient windows is the more effective solution, but these alternatives can block sun rays, prevent UV light from entering your home, and offer better insulating properties. In turn, you'll be able to use less energy to heat and cool your home effectively. If you are ready to start lowering your bills, get started today by contacting a company such as Superblinds & Draperies.