Did you know that 25-35% of your home energy bill relates directly to the loss of heat through windows? It’s true. Most American homes have older windows that are far from being energy efficient. If you are looking to save some money on your utility bill, you should consider installing energy efficient windows to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. As an added benefit the federal government will help foot the bill.
Thanks to the stimulus bill, you can claim a tax credit of up to $1,500 for new, energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights. This translates to a tax savings of up to 30% of the price of qualified products installed between February 18, 2009 and December 31, 2010. Many local utilities also offer rebates and incentives for installing energy efficient products in your home. Check your local area by using the ENERGY STAR rebate finder.
Before you look for the perfect window for your home, you need to think about where you live and how the local weather affects your energy bill. Do you live in a cold climate where freezing winters are likely to impact your energy usage? Is your home situated on a large open road with exposure to all the natural elements? Or is it tucked away in a cul-de-sac with some protection from chilling winds?
Windows need to be situated to allow for maximum light and ventilation. Double glazing is ideal for freezing winters. Louvered windows are perfect for catching the breeze in summers. Or, if you need both adjustable ventilation and high degree weather protection, then you might try a combination.
The Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC) is an organization whose members have made a commitment to manufacture and promote energy-efficient windows. Their website, http://www.efficientwindows.org, provides information on the benefits of energy-efficient windows, descriptions of how they work, and recommendations for their selection and use.