During the winter, windows provide homeowners with a means to feel the warmth of sunlight on their skin and feel closer to the outdoors, even when they may be cooped up in their homes for most of the day. For all these benefits though, windows could also be driving up energy and home heating costs, preventing consumers from achieving energy-efficient homes.
According to the nonprofit advocacy group International Window Film Association (IWFA), window film should be used by homeowners in the winter who are concerned about leaky windows. This film is a mostly transparent material that is affixed over windows to act as a shield against air leaks. It helps trap warm air inside the home during the winter, which could allow a homeowner to scale back their use of an HVAC system. But, there are additional benefits that go beyond energy usage.
"People often wear sunglasses outdoors during winter months to protect from glare and UV rays, but glare is ever-present inside too," IWFA executive director Darrell Smith said in a press release. "With [the] winter sun lower in the sky, it passes directly into windows with damaging effects on furnishings and art, along with unhealthy ultraviolet (UV) rays' impact on people's eyes and skin."
Home inspection professionals generally consider windows to be one of the primary impediments to low home heating bills during the winter. While most homeowners are aware of the importance of insulating the area around a window, some may be unaware that glass could be siphoning heat out of the home.
A qualified home inspection service in the Tri-State area will be able to consult with a homeowner to investigate whether windows are contributing to high energy costs. This professional may suggest a homeowner use window film or insulated curtains to trap heat in the home.