Tips to reduce home energy costs
October 26, 2007 08:00
Installing ENERGY STAR qualified replacement windows can help reduce home heating and cooling bills
According to the Associated Press, October 2007, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration predicts it is going to be a much more expensive winter for households that depend on heating oil. Heating oil customers will pay an average of $319, or 22 percent, more this winter than last in large part because of estimated soaring crude oil prices, and this winter is expected to be colder than last, driving up demand. Natural gas customers are forecast to pay $78, or 10 percent, more for heat between October and March.
The US governments' ENERGY STARŪ energy efficiency program can guide you in making your home more energy efficient, reducing high energy bills, improving comfort, and protecting the environment-whether you do it yourself or hire a qualified professional. The ENERGY STARŪ Home Advisor recommends the following home improvement projects to increase your home's energy efficiency and savings:
Consider installing ENERGY STARŪ-qualified replacement windows if you currently have single-paned and even new double-paned, clear-glass windows. ENERGY STARŪ-qualifed replacement windows utilize: improved frame materials, such as vinyl, to reduce heat transfer and increase replacement windows insulation power; muliple panes of glass with a gas-filled space in-between panes to improve insulation better than regular air; Low-E coatings that reflect infrared light, keeping heat inside in the winter and ouside in the summer; Warm-Edge Spacers keep the replacement window's glass panes the correct distance apart to reduce heat flow and prevent condensation.
Seal air leaks in your home. Reducing air leaks (or drafts) in your home is often the most cost-effective way to improve your home's energy efficiency and comfort. The biggest air leaks are usually hidden in the attic and the basement or crawlspace. Air also leaks around pipes and wires, windows and doors, baseboards and outlets.
Seal the leaks in your ductwork.
Add more insulation to your home. In most homes, the easiest and most cost effective place to add insulation is in the attic.
Consider replacing your heating and cooling equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STARŪ qualified model that has earned the ENERGY STARŪ.
Consider installing a high-efficiency water heater.
For more information and tips visit the ENERGY STARŪ website at http://www.energystar.gov/.
About Thermal Industries - In business for more than 47 years, Thermal Industries, Inc., a division of Atrium Companies, manufactures custom-made vinyl windows, doors, patio enclosures, vinyl and composite deck planks and vinyl railing systems. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, the company maintains distribution through 18 branch locations east of the Mississippi. For more information on other Thermal Industries products, call (800) 245-1540, Ext. 1941, or go online to http://www.thermalindustries.com/.
About Atrium Companies, Inc. - For more than 50 years, Atrium Companies, Inc. has offered the highest quality window and door products to meet the demands of builders, contractors and distributors in the residential construction industry. Dedicated to meeting the needs of its customers, the Atrium family of brands provides a versatile range of window and patio door products, including vinyl and aluminum models, as well as replacement and new construction product lines. A variety of window styles are also available through the Atrium family including single- and double-hung, horizontal slider, casement, tilt-and-turn and architectural shapes. Specialty products range from hurricane impact solutions with Atrium's Safe HarborŪ impact-resistant windows, patio doors and hurricane window shutters, to innovative soundproofing Silent Guard Sound Suppression Windows. The company's portfolio of brands includes its flagship Atrium Windows and Doors brand, Superior Windows, Thermal Industries, Danvid Door and Window, HR Windows, Champion Window, Darby Door and North Star Vinyl Windows and Doors.