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Drafty windows? Replace them!

By Staff | Sep 28, 2009

Vets Glass salesman Jamie Morley stresses the importance of quality windows. Other than attic insulation, nothing makes a home more vulnerable than windows and doors.

There truly is no place like home. Vets Glass of Winnebago knows this and wants to help you make your home the comfortable and energy-efficient haven it should be.

As their motto states, they can take care of all your glass needs and this includes windows, too.

Windows provide our homes with light, warmth and ventilation, but they can also negatively impact a home’s energy efficiency. In fact, the typical home loses over 25 percent of its heat in the winter or coolness in the summer through the windows.

According to Jamie Morley, sales representative at Vets Glass, other than attic insulation, nothing makes a home more vulnerable to the elements than windows and doors. He says they are the weakest points in a home. Other culprits that hamper energy efficiency are old sliders and patio doors. In fact, just about every door or opening in a home should be checked, he advises.

Energy-efficient windows make sense for today’s budget-conscious society. Anyone who has ever sat by a drafty window knows the usual solution is for the home dweller to crank-up the heat. However, all this does is use more energy and thus increase the monthly utility bill.

In such instances as this, it is obvious the window was not designed to keep in the warm air. If the window is leaking in the winter, it is leaking in the summer and therefore is not energy efficient.

Window replacement means energy efficiency.

Product-wise, Morley says Vets Glass provides two options for a homeowner to consider when purchasing windows. The first is the thermal pane window. This features two panes of glass and argon gas. The Low E (low emissivity) coated glass is a microscopically thin, virtually invisible coating deposited on the glass surface. This coating limits radiant heat flow between window panes by reflecting heat into the home during cold weather, and back to the outdoors during warm weather.

The second option Morley says Vets Glass recommends is the triple pane window. It features three panes of glass and krypton gas.

“The triple pane window doubles the insulation value,” explains Morley. Using the heavier gas, krypton, plus the additional pane of glass makes this product more expensive initially, but it will pay for itself over the years, he adds.

Currently, all the replacement windows custom-built at Vets Glass qualify for the federal stimulus tax credit which is available through 2010. This means a consumer can save 30 percent on the cost of replacement windows up to a cap of $1,500.

“Make sure the windows qualify,” says Morley. “They must have a U-value (rating of a windows performance) of .3 or lower to qualify. Also, the price stickers must be included as well as a letter from the company showing the window specifications before one fills out the tax credit form and includes it when their taxes are prepared.”

If a person is considering selecting new energy-efficient windows three steps are needed to achieve improved window performance. They include design, selection and installation. Consider the design of the home and climate in relation to the energy performance of windows; find windows that meet your energy performance requirements; and ensure for proper installation of windows to maximize their energy efficiency.

For the do-it-yourself people, Morley advises them to make sure they buy a good quality window.

“If you’re going to spend the money, know that good quality windows are not going to be cheap,” he says.

Some energy efficiency improvements to existing windows may also help. These include adding storm windows, caulking and weather stripping and using window treatments or coverings. Storm windows reduce air leakage and some heat transfer. Caulking and weather stripping reduces air leakage around windows and window treatments reduce heat loss and/or gain.

The windows Vets Glass installs are not wooden-clad but are all vinyl, so they pretty much will last the lifetime of a home.

Vets Glass has been in business since 1950 serving the Faribault and Martin County areas. Providing and installing energy-efficient windows for all seasons, including the days in-between, is the goal of Vets Glass.

They know how windows can make a difference.

There truly is no place like an energy-efficient home.