To save money and stay warm this winter, make the most of the windows you already have with simple home weatherization tips. This is Part III in a series of articles by Jean Nick from Rodale News on how to save energy dollars with your Lakeville home.
Replace or Refurbish
Older windows with aluminum or steel frames can be real energy wasters, as metal is very effective at conducting heat. So if you have the budget, it may make sense to consider replacing them with high-quality insulated windows. If you can’t afford to replace all your windows with high-quality windows at once, replace just a few at a time, starting with the side of the house that gets pounded by the winter winds (doing a side all at once keeps things looking nicer from the outside, too).
If your home has old wooden windows, as in pre-1940s, they are well worth keeping even if they are in rough shape. Fixing up what you already have is a very green and affordable alternative to replacement windows. Windows that old were often made from individual parts that can be repaired or replaced without having to take out the entire window, and doing so will end up costing you less than a complete replacement job. You can boost the efficiency of these older, single-paned windows by adding a storm window or low-e film, which allows you to retain the aesthetic appeal. You can refurbish the windows yourself—visit Historic HomeWorks for how-to videos and locations of workshops near you—or you can pay a local craftsman to do the work for you (which is a good thing for your local economy).
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