Insulating Replacement Windows Saves Money

Add window insulation to reduce thermal transfer

In the average home, windows account for about 25 percent of energy losses. If you're looking to save money and improve your home energy efficiency -- and who isn't? -- one of the very best things you can do is add window insulation. There are numerous strategies homeowners use to achieve year-round energy savings with window insulation, and it's an easy extra step to take if you're planning to replace windows yourself or upgrade your existing windows.

Five Ways to Add Window Insulation

The goal of insulation is to inhibit heat transfer. In the winter, that means more heat stays in your home; in the summer, more heat stays out. Here are five common window insulation strategies homeowners use:

  • Weather stripping. This is one of the oldest window insulation strategies, but it's been around for a long time for one simple reason: it works. A simple investment in good weather stripping can cut your wintertime heating bills by up to 20 percent.
  • Blackout drapes. Another inexpensive window insulation strategy, blackout drapes are heavy curtains which stop heat from seeping through your windows in the winter and prevent sunlight from entering your home in the summer. They also reduce noise significantly.
  • Cellular blinds. These specially shaped blinds have contours which provide your windows with some serious insulation. Invest in a good pair of cellular blinds and the R-value of your windows can spike by as much as R-3.
  • Energy panels. Quality energy panels can cut heat transfer by more than 50 percent. These easy-to-install, low-maintenance panels are transparent barriers which act almost like a storm window, and provide all the benefits of weather stripping. They are double-paned, and they work by trapping air that would otherwise flow in and out of your home and cause heat loss.
  • Energy film. While energy film is costly, it offers major benefits, especially when used in tandem with blackout drapes and cellular blinds. This transparent film is installed on the exterior of your home, and is one of the most effective window insulation options out there.

Replacement window sills can also help reduce drafts, thus giving your energy efficiency efforts an extra boost. If your current windows are old and drafty, replacing them before insulating them will help you achieve sustained energy savings season after season, year after year.