Have you noticed chilly drafts, cold pockets in certain rooms, or a dramatic rise in your heating bill? If these sound similar, you might be experiencing issues with your windows. Your home’s windows play an important role in everything from how comfortable a room feels to how much your monthly utility bill costs. This is because some windows – especially older ones and cheaper models – are less energy efficient and tend to develop leaks and drafts over time.
Here at White Mechanical, Inc., we’ve provided heating and air conditioning services for countless households throughout Foothill Ranch, CA. We understand all the ways residential windows impact home heating and energy loss. Here are some ways your windows affect how your home is heated.
Location and Positioning
When the sun is shining on your home’s windows, it can heat up the room and make it feel like a sauna. The sun naturally moves across the sky throughout the day, so you’ll probably notice this issue worsening at certain times. The positioning of the windows, as well as the number of windows in a room, can impact how much heat they absorb from the outdoors.
Luckily, with the right techniques, you can work this situation to your advantage. If the room feels too hot or stuffy, especially during summer, you can use window treatments like blinds or curtains. Simply close the curtains during the “hot” part of the day to limit the amount of heat your windows absorb. On the other hand, leaving the windows uncovered on sunny days in winter can help warm up the room naturally. This is a great way to take the strain off your furnace on cold days.
Proximity to Thermostat
Inside your thermostat is a built-in thermometer that helps regulate the temperature in your home. If your thermostat is located close to a window, everything from cool drafts to intense sunlight will influence the internal thermometer. In other words, your thermostat may be tricked into thinking your home is cooler or warmer than it actually is.
There are a couple of solutions to explore. For a quick and budget-friendly fix, you can install weather stripping on any nearby windows or exterior doors. But for something more effective and long-lasting, you should consider having the old windows replaced. This is because old windows develop drafts over time due to the frames warping or rotting. A drafty window near a thermostat is a recipe for high energy bills and a struggling HVAC system.
Energy Efficiency Rating
Did you know that some windows are more energy efficient than others? Every brand and model of window has an energy-efficient rating based on how well it insulates your home from the outdoors. Traditional single-pane windows allow hot and cold air from the outdoors to easily pass through into your home. Double and triple-pane windows provide a much better barrier. This is because each pane is sandwiched between a layer of insulating gas, typically argon. Argon is a dense, non-toxic gas that helps block the transfer of gas between your home and the outdoors.
To get an idea of how energy efficient a window is, take a look at its ENERGY STAR rating. This rating measures the rate of heat loss as well as how effective the window is at reflecting solar energy. By swapping them out with more energy-efficient windows, your home will be much less susceptible to temperature swings. Plus, keeping a steady indoor temperature is an excellent way to cut down on home energy loss. If you’re struggling to keep your heating and cooling bill down, replacing the windows can go a long way.
You can use two open windows to create a cross breeze. This is a natural way to ventilate the room and cool it down without ever touching your thermostat. If you’d like to let some cool air into your home, be sure to open several windows along opposite walls. Opening just one window can actually make the problem worse by drawing more warmth into the room without giving it anywhere to go. Keep in mind that this technique works much better on days that are mild and breezy rather than hot and humid.
You should also avoid opening windows while your AC is running. This is because your air conditioner can only put out so much cool air at a time. By opening your windows and allowing warm air to enter your home, your AC is constantly fighting to lower the temperature. This puts a huge strain on the air conditioner and will also create a noticeable spike in your monthly bill. If you ever have the urge to open your windows on a warm summer day, be sure to switch off your AC first.
Install Exterior Shutters
Some windows have external shutters to help insulate the home from extreme weather. Due to their solid build, exterior shutters are much more effective at reflecting solar energy than curtains or blinds. Metal shutters can dramatically increase your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. If your home receives a lot of sunlight throughout the day, adding external shutters can help solve some of your home heating woes. Some shutters are available in a slatted design that facilitates airflow throughout the room. If you often have your windows open on cool days, louvered shutters will bring additional comfort to your home.
Window Frame Material
Window frames come in a variety of different materials. Some of the most common materials are wood, aluminum, and vinyl. While most modern windows are vinyl, many older homes still retain their old wooden frames. Additionally, some homeowners may opt for wooden windows because they’re stylish. However, wooden frames are not as airtight and sturdy as frames fabricated from contemporary materials. Wood will bend and warp over time, resulting in an imperfect fit. This allows air from the outside to enter your home, greatly affecting your indoor air temperature.
There’s no way to turn back the clock on old wooden window frames, so a full replacement is your best option. If you’re planning to get rid of your old wooden windows, consider replacing them with vinyl. This modern material is lightweight, flexible, and airtight. Vinyl windows will drastically improve how your home is heated for many years to come.
Keep Your Home Comfortable All Year Long
By keeping in mind how your windows affect your home’s heating, you’ll be able to effectively achieve a comfortable temperature without putting unnecessary strain on your HVAC system and utility bill. By upgrading your old windows, adding window treatments, or installing weather stripping, you’ll go a long way toward completely revamping your home’s comfort routine. At White Mechanical, Inc., we’ll make sure your home is ready for any weather in Foothill Ranch, CA, from our hot, arid summers to our cool, dry winters.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about heating efficiency tips, reach out to our knowledgeable team today. We’re also happy to provide top-notch heating and cooling service, including installations, replacements, maintenance, and repairs. Call us today to schedule an appointment!