How Do I Pick Energy Efficient Door and Window Replacements?

window replacement

One of the main reasons why you may find yourself choosing window replacements at any given time is a need to have more energy efficient windows. Energy efficiency is a major issue in many houses both old and new. But it’s an especially big problem among windows and doors. This is because a great deal of energy can escape through a drafty window or door, and for that matter, a lot of them have those types of drafts without homeowners even realizing it until they start to notice that their energy bills are higher than they should be.

Fortunately, there are energy efficient replacement windows and doors on the market. But the question for many may be how to find these types of door and window replacements, as well as how they really differ from typical windows and doors. They don’t necessarily look very different to the naked eye. So where is the difference? Let’s find out.

How Do I Know If I’m Really Buying Energy Efficient Windows and Doors?

One of the main ways in which you can tell that you are buying energy efficient window and door replacements is if they are Energy Star labeled. The Energy Star labeling program is actually a lot newer than you might think; it didn’t begin until 1992, and many people remain unaware of it today. This labeling program, however, is meant to make your hunt for energy efficient door and window replacements much simpler.

If doors and windows are Energy Star labeled, then you can know that they have met the strict requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA. Usually, the EPA’s performance standards will be based on issues like the amount of glazing on a fixture, or the thickness of the glass involved.

Additionally, there are different climate zones attached to different areas. Look up your climate zone while you are shopping for windows and doors. The Energy Star label of the fixture should reflect the climate zone for which it is suited. As long as you’re buying a window or door suited for your climate zone, you should be set to go.

What Makes Windows and Doors Energy Efficient?

You may already have energy efficient doors and windows, but they’ve simply been damaged and are no longer functionally energy efficient. But despite the fact that energy efficient windows and doors look just like ordinary windows and doors, there is a big difference between energy efficient door and window replacements, and replacements that are not energy efficient.

For doors, this will typically lie in the glazing. And energy efficient glazing, as well as a door that is well-fitted and made to prevent drafts, will typically keep a door from allowing energy to escape your home. Windows can be a bit more complex.

One issue to consider for both door and window replacement is the U-factor. The U-factor is the amount of heat that can transfer through a material. Materials with lower U-factors will be less permeable for heat. Heat will transfer through them more slowly, and therefore they are better insulated and more energy efficient. When a window has a low U-factor, you will potentially need to worry less about window treatments as back up.

You need to pay attention to your window’s framing as well. Windows can typically be set in wood frames, aluminum frames, or vinyl frames. Due to their expanding and contracting tendencies, wood frames are usually the least energy efficient. Aluminum is easily heated, and therefore the heat transfers outdoors more easily, making window replacements with aluminum frames less energy efficient. If vinyl frames are insulated, they are often the best options.

When windows are single pane, they are less insulated and therefore less energy efficient. Therefore buyers of window replacements should look for options that are double paned if they want energy efficiency.

There is much more for you to consider as you decide which door and window replacements you need to invest in. But energy efficiency is perhaps one of the biggest factors to consider. Don’t dismiss the importance of saving energy, because saving energy means saving money.

5 Steps You Can Take to Keep Heat from Escaping Your Home

norman window coverings

There are a lot of reasons why you’ll want to make sure that heat doesn’t escape your home. For one thing, escaping heat obviously will make your home much less comfortable, particularly during the winter. Nobody wants to live in a drafty house! For another, when heat escapes your house you may as well be letting go of money too. The more quickly heat escapes your house, the more quickly your energy bills will build. Your home’s heating and cooling system will essentially work overtime to compensate for that escaped heat, which will drive up your energy expenses.

So, how do you prevent this from happening? You should focus on windows and doors, firstly. After all, typically 10% to 25% of a home’s heat escapes through its windows. With that being said, let’s explore how you can work with window and door specialists to prevent heat from escaping your home.

1. Use Window Coverings

Perhaps one of the best ways of preventing heat from escaping your windows is using window coverings, like for example Norman window coverings. Window coverings obviously come in a variety of different forms. Not only will they prevent heat from escaping your windows; they’ll also improve the appearance of your home and shield you from the light streaming in from your windows.

When choosing between different Norman window coverings, you don’t necessarily have to stick to the typical blinds. There are more interesting blinds you can select if you are interested in that method; you can choose bamboo blinds, for example. But there are also shutters and curtains available that can attractively cover your windows and prevent heat from escaping your home. When selecting window coverings, you don’t need to have your windows constantly covered. You simply need to ensure that they can be covered during the winter, especially at night.

2. Install New Insulation

You also need to make sure that your home is properly insulated. Many houses are not efficiently insulated, and homeowners aren’t even aware of this issue. Even if your home was insulated in the past, you may need to top off your existing insulation or perhaps replace it entirely. Insulating your home can be done in conjunction with adding Norman window coverings, ultimately dealing with the issue more effectively than you would if you took a singular approach.

Although further insulating your home and sealing up gaps and cracks can cost money, in the long term these measures will pay for themselves. You would lose more in overworked heating and energy bills otherwise.

3. Replace Older Windows

We don’t often think about window replacements. But no matter how great your Norman window coverings are, you may need to buy new windows entirely if you’ve had them for too long. You should ask about your home’s windows before you buy the house itself, as they may be much older than you think.

Just like any other aspect of a home, windows wear down over time. Wooden frames in particular are prone to rot, while glass windowpanes will crack and break after decades of service. Your windows themselves may not be the primary culprit when heat escapes your home. You may also need to consider replacement doors. But they should definitely be inspected if your energy bills are rising.

4. Close Unused Rooms

You may not always be using every room of your home; in fact, you probably won’t use all of them at the same time. Furniture can’t feel cold, so you might want to close off the rooms that you’re not often using. Turn off the heat in those rooms if your heating system will allow it, and furthermore close the doors to those rooms.

5. Install Pelmets

Pelmets are boxes that cover your curtain rods, though invisible pelmets are above curtain rods and are pressed against the back of the curtain. They essentially act as barriers against cold air.

There are a lot of issues that come from heat escaping your home. Not only does it force energy bills to rise; it also can cause health issues. But with a few adjustments, you can ensure that your home is as warm and well-insulated as possible.

How To Find The Best Possible Patio Doors

patio doors

When building a patio, it’s easy to get so excited about the type of flooring and the new expansion of your home that you look over the basics. You need to consider not only the tiles and furniture for your patio, but the patio doors as well. Essentially, a patio door creates a new entrance and exit for your home, which opens up a lot of potential for damage and energy loss.

As with all details of an addition, you should carefully consider the patio door system that you ultimately choose. It’s not as simple as selecting a door that is functional. It should also be aesthetically pleasing, efficient, and cohesive in regards to the rest of your home. With that being said, let’s explore some of the questions that should be asked as you select the entry doors for your patio.

What Are The Types Of Patio Doors Available?

There are actually several different types of patio doors on the market. The three main types of patio doors include French doors, sliding patio doors, and folding doors. Sliding doors, as the name suggests, slide back and forth easily and are often considered more easily functional than other types of doors. They’re simpler, with cleaner lines and less space required; these doors offer a straight, neat look and create a contemporary appearance. Furthermore, they allow in more light and allow large volumes of air to move through a room, ultimately creating a fresher space. Although sliding doors are among the several types of patio doors, there are also different kinds of sliding doors available on a more detailed level. These include multi-slide patio doors, which may have three or more sliding panels.

Folding doors, on the other hand, are often favored due to the fact that they literally fold out of the way on a track. This opens up an even smoother path between the patio and the house. If the goal is to have the best transition possible between the indoors and outdoors, folding doors could be the best option.

French doors, of course, are iconic and aesthetically pleasing. They’re elegant, featuring multiple paneled windows. The hinged quality of the doors actually opens them up to more stylistic variations, like complex patterns and arched tops. These doors are often recommended for areas in which high winds are common, as the seal of the doors actually grows stronger when they withstand the wind. French doors can come in the form of one or two doors, which can expand your ventilation levels if you’d like.

What Types Of Door Materials Are Available?

There are a lot of different types of materials to choose from when it comes to patio doors. Vinyl is one of the most energy-efficient options, which should always be taken into consideration. Though the ENERGY STAR labeling program did not begin until 1992, energy efficiency has long been valued in doors. This is due to the fact that doors can be a simple way for us to control energy loss, and therefore the amount of money we spend on energy.

Wood doors are not as energy efficient as vinyl doors, but they are aesthetically appealing and available in a variety of options, from pine to oak. Aluminum is more durable, resistant to mold and rust, and perfect for more moderate climates. On the other hand, steel could be even more long-lasting, due to its ability to resist warping and its insulation, which bonds to the surface. Finally, fiberglass is extremely low maintenance and isn’t prone to dents, warping, and peeling.

How Important Are Frame And Fit?

The frame and fit of patio doors can greatly affect their energy efficiency. Though glass is a pleasing material to use for patio doors, it’s not very effective in terms of insulation. However, the frame surrounding the glass can cut down on heat loss. Generally speaking, after doors are installed an additional inspection should be made to ensure that they’re properly sealed.

Clearly, we should be more careful when selecting patio doors than we typically are. Consider not only the types of the patio doors but the materials and the final fit and frame of the doors as well. These considerations will ensure that you have the best possible results.

3 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Front Door

new front door

Your home’s front door may be one of the first things visitors see. Not only does it need to look welcoming, but it also needs to protect the interior of your home and function as it should. Unfortunately, entry doors don’t last forever — and if yours is nearing the end of its lifespan, it might result in inconvenience or even property damage. Let’s take a look at three signs that you need a new front door right away.

Your Door is Weathered or Cracked

Doors are meant to act as a barrier to the harsh elements, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when they start to show their age. Wood doors, in particular, are prone to becoming cracked or warped. If you spot stress fractures or large cracks, it’s probably time for a new front door.

Your Entryway is Drafty

Older homes tend to be a bit drafty, but that doesn’t mean this is a normal occurrence. Ultimately, it means that you’re losing energy (and wasting money in the process). If you’ve noticed that cold air tends to come in around the front door, even when it’s closed, replacing the weatherstripping might help. But if there’s a gap between the door and the frame, a new front door may be warranted. Keep in mind that a door without a window that’s one to 1.5 inches thick offers more than five times the insulating value of a standard solid wood door. Not only can a new door make your home more comfortable, but it can also help you cut costs.

Your Door Sticks, Squeaks, or Scrapes

Doors that are noisy, that are difficult to open, or that cause damage to the door may be good candidates for replacement. A squeaky door might be remedied by applying a lubricant to its hinges, but it could also be that the hinges are worn out or that excessive moisture has done too much damage to the door. And if you physically struggle to even get the door open, you may also want to think about whether installing a new door will solve the problem. Finally, if you’ve noticed scraping on the floor, that may mean the door is warped. Since warped doors can’t really be fixed and you’ll want to prevent other damage to your home, the best option is replacement.

If you’ve determined you need a new entryway door, we’re here to help you select the right one for your home. For more on our Gilbert Arizona replacement windows and doors, please contact HNH Build today.

How Your Home Benefits from Replacement Windows and Doors

replacement windows and doors

In the average home, nearly 10% to 25% of heat escapes from old windows and doors. This can cause energy bills to skyrocket while also making your home uncomfortable during the winter. The best way to combat this loss is by investing in replacement doors and windows.

How Replacement Doors and Windows Help Prevent Energy Loss

With old windows and poor insulation, indoor air can be allowed to escape through cracks. This can not only drive up energy bills, but it can also put additional stress on your HVAC system causing it to work overtime. If this is allowed to continue for too long, you could end up needing system repairs on top of replacement windows and doors.

Front doors can also provide a way for energy to escape, especially if they aren’t sealing properly after closing. A lack of sealing around doors can make it easy for heat to escape, and while draft stoppers can be used to help mitigate the problem, the issue will persist until a new front door is installed.

Preventing Damage and Pest Infestation

Replacement windows and doors can also help protect your home against damage from water. Old windows and doors are prone to having gaps and cracks that water can seep into and damage the interior of your home. If water is allowed to continue getting in, over time you could begin seeing hazardous mold growth or rot. If a wall is damaged enough, it may require extensive repair in order to fix it completely.

Similarly, these gaps and cracks can be great ways for pests to gain entrance into your home. From tiny insects to rodents, you could be inadvertently giving them an easy way in when you fail to replace your old windows and doors.

Replacement windows and doors nip these problems in the bud and ensure that no water or pests can enter and no energy can escape.

Are You Overdue for Replacement?

If your home is struggling with old windows and doors, consider how replacing these can benefit you. To learn more about all the options available to you, check out Hand In Hand Build for more information and inspiration.