Friday, December 12, 2008

How To Save $$ on Your Utilities

Old wood windows, single pane glass windows or poorly hung windows and doors can be a major cause of energy loss. Everyone has experienced at one time or another, the cold blasts of winter seeping in around icy windows that are not insulated and sometimes won’t lock or even shut completely. Wood windows can be a maintenance nightmare as well. Replacing these energy hogs with vinyl, double-pane, low E windows can make a world of difference in not only energy savings but in noise reduction and lowered maintenance costs.

While there are other replacement window companies out there that will come up with astronomical prices for replacing all the windows in your house, a quality home improvement contractor should be able to install an average sized replacement double hung window for about $400-$450 per window including the cost of the window. And while you are bound to get the best price if you have the entire house done at once, using a good home improvement contractor will allow you to do a portion of your windows at a time if doing the whole house would just stretch your budget too far.

If you have gaps around your doors, try contacting a window contractor skilled in installing doors and see if it can be adjusted to hang properly to minimize outside air intrusion. If this isn’t possible, installing a storm door may be just what you need to add that extra insulation. Consider purchasing storm doors with moveable panels and screens for those warm days in spring and fall when you want to open up the house and take advantage of Mother Nature’s breezes. The added cost for the moveable panels will more than pay for themselves on the days when you can turn off the heat or air conditioning and open up the house.

Since most new construction doors do not have low E coatings on the glass, look into either having a coating installed or purchase one yourself at a home improvement store and coat the glass on the weekend or whenever you have some free time. A low E coating reduces the amount of heat that can penetrate your window glass and can make a big difference in you summer time utility bills as well as preventing areas with southern exposure from overheating in the bright sinter sun.

All of these tips will make huge differences in you energy bills. Since the cash that you put into improving your house can generally be recovered when you go to sell your house and money spent on utility bills cannot, it makes great sense to spend your cash sprucing up your house instead of sending your money to the utility company. Increase value of your home and lowered monthly utility bills make these types of home improvements a huge success.

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