If you currently considering buying a house from a developer or real estate company, an opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of your home. Rather than abusive or ill-advised home-mortgage terms, you can use this credit to finance the long-term benefits of renewable-energy sources. Tax credits aimed at stimulating the housing market can be used to invest in reducing your home’s energy consumption and monthly utility. Plus, it’s still a buyer’s market out there, and you shouldn’t close on a house without an evaluation of the home’s overall energy-efficiency.
Similarly, if you improve your home, you should consider using materials that are environmentally friendly and can reduce carbon production. Go to any home improvement store, and you’ll find aisles reserved for green building materials.
For flooring use the green material like: Cork floor, Bamboo flooring, Recylced Carpeting, or Linoleum Flooring. Green floors are typically made from renewable or recycled products. These non-toxic flooring materials are said to be safe for the environment and for people, and can be installed in an eco-friendly manner without harmful gas emissions.
For home buyers with a solid credit rating, a standard 2.5kW solar-powered electric system might add between $100-$115/month to your mortgage. Meanwhile, you might easily save this money or more each month by reducing your electric bill. The cost and rewards for geothermal systems can be even more wide-ranging with some estimates suggesting the added cost to your mortgage might be as low as $20-$30/month and generate savings up to $75-$100/month. Naturally. These figures do not apply to every home, otherwise conventional heating and cooling systems would be nearly dead by now, but many homes and homeowners do have this potential and fail to realize it.
The heating and cooling the house is just the beginning, there are some options that might be interested in
Add a geothermal system with a generator will provide hot water hot water on demand, and replace the old hot water boiler. In the summer of your hot water could be “free”, as the heat would be away from home geothermal power plant. Or do you avoid it on the kitchen tiles, floor heating provides heat from geothermal heating and cooling system.
Whether you’re heating or cooling your home, these systems are a wise investment for your home and personal comfort.
The entire point behind storm windows is their intrinsic energy efficiency. The extra barrier they provide helps insulation. Their low-emissive panes block unsafe UV rays from entering the house and impede additional heat transfer. And they also protect against any seeping air flow which may occur. Though often forgotten about or ignored, storm window frames are an important part of any window unit and must be paid attention to throughout the year.
Types of Storm Window Frames
Though often prefabricated, pre-hung, and standardized to fit any traditional opening (double-hung, casement, egress, etc.), there are different materials you may want to consider when it comes to their construction, each coming with their own pros and cons:
Aluminum: Aluminum is the most popular. It’s light yet strong, often inexpensive, and easy to install. However, since metal is a great conductor of energy, it quickly transfers heat towards the home, making it a poor insulator.
Vinyl: These are made with polyvinyl chloride which contains UV stabilizers. Since these windows are installed on the exterior, they take a lot of abuse from the sun and rain, so these stabilizers keep the vinyl from breaking down (though if they’re not already white in color, their shade will fade). And though they’re better insulators, they’re not easy to find, a bit more expensive, and they can expand and warp at high temperatures.
Wood: They’re great for historical houses if you want to retain that authentic look. However, it ages quickly. And it expands and contracts according to weather conditions, so if installed during the winter they may not close easily in the summer, and if installed in summer they may fit loosely in winter. Plus, they require more components in their construction. This makes them heavier and thicker, which can create storage problems and interfere with the view or incoming natural light (but also means less heat transfer).
Condensation is a problem in many units. If air enters into the area between the panes, moisture quickly builds up. However, storm window frames are equipped with weep holes at the bottom so condensation has a way to slide off the interior glass and escape back outside. But if it becomes a reoccurring problem, inspect the weep holes to make sure they’re clear of debris. Or, you may want to think about permanent installation. Though people often want to remove the windows for routine cleaning, you could also screw, caulk, or weather strip the framing into place for a better seal.
Repair and Replacement
The biggest issue with storm window frames is their ability to open. If they don’t slide easily, clean out the surrounding tracks and remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Also, rub around the framing with steel wood to remove any possible corrosion and apply some silicon lubricant around its edges (but make sure to keep it off the glass and latches to avoid sticky smudges). In older homes, once the house shifts into place, the tracks may bind up. Therefore, remove the entire window and readjust it. In order to remove it, you may have to cut along its edges if it’s painted into place or use a screwdriver if it’s bolted into the sash. Or if you have a strange sized window, you may want to replace it with a new product. And these can even be custom-made if needed in order to fit any sized opening, such as bay or picture windows.
Modern windows rely on a wide array of technology to realize a level of energy efficiency as high as five times that of traditional windows. A basic understanding of thermal replacement window ratings will help you choose the window that’s best for you without blindly relying on a sales pitch.
U Factor rating
An organization called the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) has developed a rating system based on the U factor. The U factor is the rating most homeowners look at first and for good reason. This rating measures the heat loss that occurs through the window. Most homeowners choose to install thermal replacement windows because of the heat loss that occurs in the winter with their old windows. Generally speaking, windows all have a U factor between 1.3 and .2, and the lower the number, the better.
Window Type U Factor Ratings
- Old metal casement window 1.3
- Good quality single-pane window 1.0
- Good single-pane with storm window .6
- Double-pane with low-E glass .4
- Triple-pane with low-E glass .25