Cold-Climate Window Tips

  • Install exterior or interior storm windows; storm windows can reduce heat loss through your windows by 25% to 50%. Storm windows should have weatherstripping at all moveable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints. Low-e storm windows save even more energy.
  • Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.
  • You can save 10% or more on your energy bill just by reducing the air leaks in your home.
  • 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 maximize solar gain. Back to the top Warm-Climate Window Tips
  • 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. Back to the top Tips when shopping for windows
  • When you're shopping for new windows, look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label; it means that the windows are performance certified.
  • Remember, the lower the U-value, the better the insulation. In colder climates, a U-value of 0.35 or below is recommended. These windows have at least double glazing and low-e coating.
  • In warm climates, where summertime heat gain is the main concern, look for windows with double glazing and spectrally selective coatings that reduce heat gain.
  • Select windows with air leakage ratings of 0.3 cubic feet per minute or less.
  • In temperate climates with both heating and cooling seasons, select windows with both low Uvalues and low solar heat gain coefficiency (SHGC) to maximize energy benefits.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. Back to the top Landscaping Tips (Dependent on Geographic Area)
  • Trees that lose their leaves in the fall (i.e., deciduous) are the most effective at reducing heating and cooling energy costs. When selectively placed around a house, they provide excellent protection from the summer sun but permit winter sunlight to reach and warm your house. The height, growth rate, branch spread, and shape are all factors to consider in choosing a tree.
  • Vines provide shading and cooling. Grown on trellises, vines can shade windows or the whole side of a house.
  • Deflect winter winds by planting evergreen trees and shrubs on the north and west sides of your house; deflect summer winds by planting on the south and west sides of your house.
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