This is Part II on Energy saving tips for your Lakeville home from Jean Nick and Rodale News.
Slow Heat Loss
Once you’ve fixed any actual air leaks, you can focus on reducing the amount of hot or cold air that is transferred through the glass and frame.
Curtains or shades can reduce heat loss significantly by keeping chilled glass and frames insulated from your warmed indoor air. Take advantage of free solar heating by leaving curtains on your south-, east-, and west-facing windows open during the day to let in the heat carried by direct sunlight (shutting them at night), but keep the windows on your north side covered all day to keep heat from escaping. If you want to spend a bit more, insulated shades or curtains are a good investment. But even hanging an old blanket or quilt against a window can make a huge difference. Temporary plastic films may be an effective and affordable option where curtains or shades aren’t workable. Be sure to remove them carefully in the spring, so you can reuse them for at least a second season, and recycle what you can’t reuse.
If you have storm windows, be sure to install or close them at the start of the heating season, and seal any air leaks they may have, just as you would a normal window. Installing new high-quality storm windows with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings is worth considering if you live in a Northern climate and your windows have single-paned glass, as the cost is lower than replacing the entire window. The final efficiency can be almost as good as installing brand-new double-paned windows.
Applying a low-e film can also reduce the amount of heat transfer through glazing. Be sure to get a film designed for your climate. The best low-e films for cold climates are applied on the interior, and are specifically designed to keep heat from escaping. Some films are meant to be removed and reapplied as needed; others go on and stay on. You can apply window film yourself (start by buying enough for just one window to see if this option is workable for you) or have it applied by a professional.
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