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Eco-friendly home guide

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Windows

Windows can be one of your home’s most attractive features. Windows provide views, daylighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. During the summer, your air conditioner must work harder to cool hot air from sunny windows.

Cold climates

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day. Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to let in the winter sun. Install exterior or interior storm windows; storm windows can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%. Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, as needed.

Warm climates

Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house. Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day. Install awnings on south- and west-facing windows. Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain.

Installing, high-performance windows will improve your home’s energy performance. While it may take many years for new windows to pay off in energy savings, the benefits of added comfort and improved aesthetics and functionality may make the investment worth it to you.