How to get the most efficiency out of your windows

Your windows are a major source of heat loss in a home.

Old Wood Sash Window In the past when I have performed Energy Tune-ups in homes, one of the first things that homeowners have said was “I know; I need to upgrade these old wooden windows and storm windows”.

Actually, many of the old wooden sash/ Aluminum storm window systems were high quality products at the time of installation, and with a little work, can be brought back up to their original performance levels, which were pretty close to the performance levels of many of the new products out there today.  In many cases, they look better too.

Old Wood Sash Window2 By replacing dry or worn out glazing compound on the individual panes, you seal any areas where air can penetrate the surface of the windows.

Many of the original aluminum storm windows installed in the 60’s-80’s were of superior quality to storm windows available today.  By removing the unit, lubricating the tracks, sealing the exterior frames, and re-installing the unit; you can increase the efficiency of those storm windows.

Ornate Door Treatment MGD©Replace your blinds with Cellular insulated window shades.  Many of today’s products can increase the insulating value of your present windows by over 300%.

Replace aluminum frames. Aluminum window frames let heat transfer very easily. Wood and vinyl frames are much more resistant to heat transfer.

Tint your windows. While you may not think that tinted windows on the front of your house look very attractive, you can always do it to the back windows. It’s surprising how much unwanted heat and cold you can keep out by having tinted windows.

Open the blinds. Why not leave the lights off and let some sun in? Lighting your house with sunlight is 100% free.

As you can see, there are several ways to get more efficiency out of what you already have, so before you commit to spending a lot for expensive replacement windows, check out your options.

At Jigsaw Home Inspections, We Check All The Pieces!

Where to point those conductor pipes

Splash BlockFirst of all what is a conductor pipe?  This refers to the pipes that are attached to your gutters and drain the water from the roof to the ground below.  Given the area of a roof on a home and a hard rain, the amount of water that is brought to the ground can be significant.  For this reason, once the water hits the ground, it’s important that it goes in the right direction; away from the home and basement.

Hinged-Spout-ExtensionWe recommend conductor pipes be extended 30” away from the foundation.  This allows any rain water from the gutters to be carried far enough so that it does not drain down the exterior foundation wall and percolate up into the basement.

Another equally important point to consider is not allowing the drain water to wash over a walkway, sidewalk, or a driveway.  When water freezes in the winter, this can lead to dangerous, slippery areas that can lead to falls and personal injury.  Aside from the safety consideration, the litigious points need to be kept in mind.

As you can see, these conductor pipes are an important part of your rainwater distribution system and need to be maintained with all those other “pieces” of your home.

At Jigsaw Home Inspections, We Check All The Pieces!

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