Both the location and the current state of your windows can impact their energy efficiency. Windows on the north side of the house tend to let in the cold, while those on the south and west bring in warmth. Repairing or upgrading your windows, using one of the following strategies, can help you make the most of the efficiency your windows offer.

#1: Manage the Cracks

Cracked or loose window panes let out warm air in the winter while letting in cold drafts. They also let cool air escape in the summer. There doesn't have to be a visible crack for windows to perform inefficiently. The panes should also never feel loose inside the window frames.

Calling your window company for a prompt repair, whether it's replacing a broken window or just resealing a pane, will ensure your windows are performing at their maximum efficiency.

#2: Improve the Weatherstripping

The caulking around your windows will degrade over time. As it does, gaps will open up that let in drafts. Symptoms of degrading caulk include:

  • Moisture seepage along the caulking.

  • Drafts coming in.

  • Peeling or cracked caulking.

  • Missing caulking.

Weatherstripping is primarily used on sliding windows. It may be a rubber gasket or a brush-style strip. If it comes loose or begins to crack, it's time to replace it.

#3: Add Storm Windows

If your windows are providing limited insulation, you can opt for the addition of storm windows instead of full replacement. Storm windows help with winter efficiency issues by keeping out moisture and drafts. They aren't typically used to keep out the heat in summer, because you must remove them if you want to open the window. Your window replacement company can measure your windows so the storm windows are custom fit to your home.

#4: Block Out the Sun

If hot summer sun is causing your air conditioner to work overtime, consider tinting or coating the windows. The newer window coatings available don't block the view from inside the house, but they do help reflect away the light and glare.

Window coverings are another option. Outdoor awnings or indoor light-blocking shades can shield your windows from hot sunlight.

#5: Upgrade the Windows

When it's time to replace your windows, choose an energy efficient option. These windows lower both your heating and cooling costs, so decreased energy bills will help offset the cost of replacement. Although designs vary, low-energy windows are typically double paned with an insulating layer of argon or air between the layers. They may also be glazed to reflect the sun.

You can choose just one option, but combining several strategies will provide you with the most energy efficient option. For more information, talk to a company like All-West home glass.