During New England winters, the last scenario any homeowner wants is energy loss. Not only does this lead to an uncomfortable home, but you’ll also notice the impact on your heating bill.
Unfortunately, not all signs of energy loss in the winter are obvious. Two of the most prominent signs of energy loss is high energy bills and a home that always feels cold—but what hidden signs can we find during the wintertime?
#1: Uninsulated Walls
Unless you have x-ray vision, you might not know if there is insulation inside your walls—especially if you aren’t the original homeowner. However, this important (yet hidden) missing element can easily cost you a significant amount of energy loss.
According to the National Energy Foundation, as much as 20% of home energy is saved with insulated walls.
Know that your walls aren’t the only area that needs sufficient insulation. This graph from the Department of Energy shows the various escape points of energy with many going undetected during the winter season.
Image Source: DOE
Based on this graph, you can see that there are plenty of secret areas where energy can escape during the winter. Since energy loss goes beyond lack of insulation, let’s explore the other places that can make your HVAC system run in overdrive.
#2: Your Window’s Energy Saving Properties
You might have double or even triple-pane windows installed in your home, but this doesn’t mean that your windows are energy efficient.
Your windows should have two important (yet invisible) components that prevent energy loss in the winter. These include:
- Argon and krypton gases: These are odorless and colorless gases that are inserted inside the window panes during manufacturing. It’s an insulating property that keeps your home warmer in the winter and prevents heat from transferring through the glass.
- Low-e: Another invisible element for energy savings, this is a colorless coating that is applied to the glass panes. The purpose it serves in the winter is allowing sunlight to naturally heat your home. In the summer, it blocks the sun’s rays and keeps your home cooler. This is a beneficial aspect for any window no matter the season.
- Frames without foam: Vinyl windows were initially engineered with hollow cavities inside. By opting for foam-filled window frames, you can improve the thermal performance of the window while increasing its U-Factor.
Energy-efficient windows can certainly help you prevent energy loss in the winter. However, other exterior products such as vinyl siding, entry doors, and roofing can help as well—but these also come with their own hidden energy loss points.
#3: Your Exterior Products Aren’t Properly Installed
This applies to all exterior remodeling products. Even the most energy-efficient windows, doors, roofing, and siding in the industry will not perform if incorrectly installed. Sometimes you can tell right away if improper installation is costing you energy dollars, but other times it goes undetected for quite some time.
For example, some warning signs of incorrectly installed windows include:
- A gap around the window frames: If you look at your window and you can see daylight around the frames, this is a major red flag of improper installation. Cracks that are less than ¼” thick can be sealed with caulking, but know that this is only a band-aid approach if the windows are outdated.
- Water damage: If you notice yellow stains on the walls or near the ceiling, you might have a leak somewhere around the window frame or even the sash. If water is able to get inside your home, energy is able to escape as well.
- Your windows are difficult to open or close: Your windows should open relatively easy, even right after installation. If you notice that the windows aren’t opening or closing correctly, it’s time to take action. If a window sash is stuck and won’t fully close, energy can easily escape.
Prevent Energy Loss in the Winter with Coastal Windows & Exteriors
No matter if you are getting new windows, doors, vinyl siding, or roofing, it’s important to hire experienced contractors for your new upgrade. Coastal Windows & Exteriors is one of the top exterior contractors in Massachusetts, servicing various areas of New England. Quality workmanship is our #1 priority, and you can count on our products and installation to keep your home comfortable all year long.
Call us at 978-304-0495 for a quote and learn about our promos!