One subject that many people are concerned about today is how to convert or build their homes to be as energy efficient as possible. Energy efficient homes are important because they can save money on heating and cooling, and also reduce a home’s carbon footprint.
The place where energy seems to be wasted the most in the home is a lack of proper insulation. Poor insulation leads to the loss of heat, causing people to use their central and portable heating systems more than usual. This increases the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and can increase heating bills in the winter.
Sometimes homes are built with poor insulation in the walls, but most of the time the largest source of poor insulation is the existence of large windows. Although large windows are beautiful, they can be your biggest source of heat and energy loss and higher heating bills.
Conserving energy is important
Billions of people rely on fossil fuels to power their heating and cooling systems because they don’t know they have other options.
According to Dictionary.com, a fossil fuel is, “A hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from the accumulated remains of ancient plants and animals and used as fuel. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by burning fossil fuels are considered to be one of the principal causes of global warming.”
These detrimental effects of the world’s dependency on fossil fuels are part of the reason many businesses have started offering energy-saving solutions to their customers. Not only can you save money by using more renewable sources of energy, but you save the planet, too.
Below are three ways you can save money and contribute to the health of the planet, simply by changing the way you light your home.
1. Maximize the efficiency of your windows
Windows, by default, don’t make good insulators and are a major source of wasted energy in many buildings. Of course, windows are necessary if you want to live comfortably, admire nature or the outside world, and not feel like you live in a dark cave.
If you live or work in an older building, chances are your windows are not as energy efficient or as in
sulated as they could be. The windows installed in many older buildings have been crafted with thin glass and have poorly insulated frames.
Thin glass has a tendency to let the outside temperature determine the inside temperature because it conducts cold and hot air. In other words, when it’s hot outside it’s hot inside. And, when it’s cold outside, it’s cold inside. Having thin windows is almost like having a hole in the wall covered by a thin sheet.
If you want your rooms to hold a decent temperature, you can always change the type of glass you use for your windows, or to make it easier and cheaper for your budget, you can tint your windows with a thin film that also provides UV protection.
Another way to insulate older, thinner windows without having to replace them is to buy a small roll of weather stripping at your local hardware store.
2. Get fiberglass window frames
Depending on your budget, you may want to consider replacing your windows with double-paned windows framed in fiberglass. Both the construction of the window and the material surrounding it play an important role in maintaining the temperature in your home.
While window frames are made from various materials such as lightweight aluminum, vinyl, wood, and clad-wood, your best option is going to be made from fiberglass.
First, fiberglass window frames have a longer life expectancy than other materials. This is important because windows aren’t convenient to replace. While wood frames can last between 15-20 years, and aluminum frames can last 30-40 years, fiberglass frames can last over 80 years without maintenance.
Fiberglass window frames also the most energy efficient. According to Karlyn Knafo, the product developer from Fibertec Windows and Doors, “They hold in heat, keep cold air out of your building and allow you to cut down on your energy bills immediately upon installation.”
The lightweight, low-maintenance energy efficiency of fiberglass window frames is the obvious choice if your objective is long-term sustainability.
3. Use passive solar heating
Passive solar heating collects, stores and distributes the heat of the sun in order to reduce the need for central heat and space heaters. Using pre-existing heat from the sun is a responsible way to create sustainability in your home or office while saving money at the same time.
Passive vs. active solar heating
There is a difference between active and passive solar heating. Passive solar heating utilizes the heat from the sun and requires no mechanical devices (like a greenhouse), while active solar heating utilizes the actual rays of the sun and converts it into electricity through mechanical devices.
How passive solar heating works
Passive solar heating collects energy from the sun through south-facing windows and stores it in building materials with high heat capacities like concrete slabs, brick walls, and tile floors. After the energy has been collected, it’s distributed naturally into the living space through convection and radiation.
The best way to achieve maximum efficiency with a passive solar heating system is to first start by incorporating the system into the design of the building from the beginning. This will ensure that all windows and roof overhangs will be properly placed to extract the maximum amount of efficiency for the system to function at full capability.
Since passive solar heating systems are affordable to implement, this is a great method to use when constructing any building to save money on your energy bills.
If you love to let the light in and want to do it in a sustainable way, request your free quote today from the window installation experts at John McCarter – we’ll give you a competitive price quote for your project.