(NewsUSA) - Many Americans send energy -- and their hard-earned money -- right out the window. Poorly insulated windows make heating and cooling systems work harder to keep homes comfortable. Homeowners not only feel uncomfortable but also waste hundreds of dollars.
According to Consumer Reports, replacing inefficient windows can cut heating and cooling bills up to 25 percent. But replacing all of a home's windows can set homeowners back $7,000 to $20,000 -- energy-efficient windows might take 20 years to pay for themselves. If old windows cannot be repaired through weather stripping or caulking, homeowners should consider an upgrade, but if windows still function, homeowners should look to make their existing windows more energy-efficient.
Here are some tips to keep heat inside your home this winter:
- Weatherstrip your windows and doors. Airtight windows and doors will do wonders for your heating bills. If you notice cold drafts by doors or windows, you need weatherstripping. If you're unsure, ask a volunteer to stand on the other side of the wall, then blow hot hair from a hand dryer at the window or door.
If you find drafts, make sure that the window or door fits properly in its frame. If the door or window is crooked, weather stripping won't fit on every side and may make the door or window impossible to close. If the window fits but still proves drafty, look into buying a weatherstripping kit. Weatherstripping comes in many forms, so you might want to ask a professional for recommendations.
- Add insulating blinds. In using energy-efficient blinds, homeowners help control light and will save money.