by Bill Wilson, CEO, Peoples Products/HR40 Replacement Windows
Whether you heat your home with oil, gas, or electric, I’m certain you’ve noticed rapid energy cost increases in your recent bills. Even if you use a wood stove, the cost of pellets have gone up too. It’s clear that energy is going up in price like never before, leaving many feeling helpless and financially bruised. Keeping your head above water is a lot of pressure for an average family. Not many can say they’ve been given raises at their jobs to match these increases, so people are falling backwards and this is a big problem.
For the average family, just trying to keep up can seem like a daunting task, given these extra financial burdens. We are paying more money for the same services, but not getting anything more for it. It doesn’t seem right. There are plenty of reasons for why this is happening. Some that are laced in politics and blame, some that point to forces beyond our control, such as OPEC, but one thing is sure, blame and reasons aren’t going to help you pay your energy costs.
This leaves the average person two choices. The first is to accept it, take it. Deal with it. Just pay it and move on. Unfortunately, this means accepting your lifestyle is decreasing and even your retirement plans may be affected in ways that would seriously depress you. The second way is to do something about it.
Okay, so you don’t control the rate of calculation in kilowatts. You can’t prevent Eversource from charging what they will, but you can control how much of it you need to buy.
I’m not suggesting you live bundled up in your winter jacket with smokey frost visible when you speak while in your home (although sadly, I’ve seen some people actually do that). I’m suggesting that you prepare your home to be better equipped to handle the demand of your needs. What that comes down to is insulating the biggest energy drains within your home.
A common sense “touch” experiment will tell you where to focus first. Touch the wall, the floor, the ceiling, and glass portion of your windows. Which is the coldest, let’s start there.
The glass of your current windows are likely the coldest part of your home. If you could make your glass feel closer to your walls, you would have windows that insulate like a wall and still see through them. But how realistic is that?
Depending on which window brand you select, your results in lowering your demand could rate as insignificant to incredibly significant. Let’s break down why.
For purposes of keeping it simple and because I’m not trying to turn you into a window salesperson, let’s recognize that windows are essentially glass and frames. The basic questions are – What is inside the frames to insulate them properly, and what is the makeup of the glass pack composition.
First, the frames. Homeowners looking to install new windows have been told by a number of companies, that insulation in the frame doesn’t matter because of a metal reinforcement embedded within the frame. That defies logic. Isn’t metal a cold-air conductor? It’s actually the opposite of insulation. Why do people get told that? Unfortunately, when a company has a product that doesn’t properly address the issues, they often default to “salesmanship”. No, a metal reinforcement will not substitute for proper insulation, in fact, it makes it worse. Then there are semi-insulated frames, like the ones that use Styrofoam pushed into the crevices. It never covers the whole chamber, leaving the window vulnerable to the cold. The best insulation today is a closed-cell injected insulation that covers every nook and cranny of the frame. In that way, the entire frame is completely insulated against conductive or convective penetrations.
Then there’s the glass. The basic choices are standard double pane, triple pane, and double pane heat mirror. Standard double pane windows (with basic Low E coating and argon gas) are very common. Our own company replaces them all the time. No, I don’t mean we replace windows using these, we replace windows like these windows all the time. They seem to have a short shelf life. When the argon gas leaks out, usually due to poor seals, the window is useless. This is why they are often referred to as a temporary window. As for triple pane, if two panes are common, why not try three? It sounds like a great idea. Some of the problems that come about in the triples are weight related. The window is actually considerably heavier and harder to work. I can’t help but be reminded of a time, early in my window sales career when an elderly woman told me she can work her triple pane windows perfectly and proceeded to demonstrate it for me. She tilted the bottom window in, as I watched it literally bend in the frame. Then she tilted the top one down, but due to the heaviness of the sash, it fell on her head, giving her an egg-shaped bump. It’s odd what people will settle for when they don’t know what they could have. I actually cringed a little just thinking about that moment.
These are some of the reasons that I opted to sell our HR40 replacement windows. They are strong, light-weight, strong tempered glass. But the real magic is in the heat-mirror technology and the use of krypton gas (which is 12 times denser than air, double that of argon).
I can go on and on about why we selected to embrace heat-mirror technology, but I’ll leave it to you to have us out and give you an estimate good for one full year.
If you want to dramatically lower your energy consumption, get a price on HR40 replacement windows. Your home is your castle. You may have heard more about Andersen, Pella, or Marvin windows, since they advertise more frequently, but you owe it to yourself to get to know HR40 before you make a final decision for your home. The difference is amazing.
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