You are curled up on the couch in your living room on a cold day, and suddenly feel a draft that makes the hair on your neck stand up. The window is not open, but it's allowing heat to escape and letting the cool air in.
The Department of Energy reports that approximately 25% to 30% of energy loss for the average American household can be attributed to the inefficiency of single-pane windows. By simply replacing them with double-pane windows, you could prevent 50% of that warm or cool air from escaping through the windows. In turn, you could slash your energy bills by up to 20–30% each year.
But that's just one potential benefit from switching out a single pane of glass for double-pane windows. Let's take a look at what a double-pane window is, what makes it a superior option, and how your household could benefit from this change.
What Is a Double-Pane Window?
The main difference between single- and double-pane windows is their structure. A single-pane window only has one layer of glass and is not an efficient insulator during extreme seasons. A double-pane window, on the other hand, has two layers of glass with air between the sheets for maximum insulation. Some double-pane window designs may even have argon between the layers. Argon is an invisible gas that optimizes thermal efficiency and reduces heat transfer.
Today, over 118 million American homes have double- or even triple-pane windows. This accounts for nearly 60% of all U.S. homes — but this means that 40% of homes still rely on old window technology. While many people opt for single-pane windows for the low initial price point, these types of windows will cause the homeowner to spend much more on utilities in the long term than if double-pane windows were installed.
The Energy Information Administration stated that, in 2012, homes comprised of a fifth of primary energy consumption in the U.S. and were responsible for approximately 20% of nationwide CO2 release. If a greater number of American homeowners made a concerted effort to switch to double-pane windows, this energy consumption could be reduced.
No matter what type of heat source you use to warm your home (i.e. a fireplace, a gas furnace, or an electric central heating system), double-pane windows limit the need for heating sources to be used as often. When you don't use as much heat, you burn fewer fossil fuels and lessen your CO2 greenhouse gas emissions — and therefore, reduce your carbon footprint. Upgrading to double-pane windows is a way to contribute to helping the planet.
Unlike single-pane windows, double-pane windows feature a more substantial locking mechanism and their tight seal prevents intruders from breaking the structure to get into your house. Double-pane windows are also stronger and do not shatter easily when struck. Your home is more secure with double-pane windows.
Whether you have noisy next-door neighbors or you live on a busy street with lots of traffic, excessive noise can take a toll on your sanity. Ambient noise can only do so much to cover up the sound of the incessant honking, loud music, and heavy-duty vehicles passing by. Switching to double-pane windows can help you enjoy a quieter and more peaceful home. The two layers of glass offer insulation from the outside world so that you and your family can relax without the constant ruckus.
Window condensation during the cold months might not appear to be a big deal, but a buildup of moisture is indicative of a bigger problem. It shows how inefficient the windows are at preventing heat transfer, and it can lead to problems with mold over time. With double-pane windows, you can consider your condensation problem solved.
In spending a little up front to upgrade your windows, you add value to your property. If you decide to move in the future, double-pane windows are a drawcard for potential buyers, and you'll see a return on your investment once it has sold.
Upgrading to energy-efficient windows has a positive effect on your house's aesthetics. Window technology has come a long way — and so has window design. Double-paned windows come in a variety of styles, including the sliding window, or double-hung window. Double-pane windows are worth the expense when you consider that the windows are known as the "eyes of your house." Updating windows to a newer style has a great impact on your curb appeal.
Before choosing double-pane windows for your home, it's important to know your options. Double-pane windows come in all sorts of styles, materials, and designs. And because each house is different, your window selection may be different, too.
Most window companies have several materials for you to choose from: vinyl, aluminum, wood, clad wood, and fiberglass. All of these materials are available in various styles, including the following:
Double-pane windows are a cost-effective visual enhancement to your house and a primary way to reduce household energy costs. Explore your options today by speaking to a qualified window professional in your area.
Information has been provided by mymove.com. Read the full article here
After months of living through COVID-19, your to-do list may have gotten much shorter. But now that we're in the midst of winter and are continuing to stay at home, what are some good winter DIY home projects to tackle?
Let's start with some home improvement ideas for winter. If you read about fall DIY projects, you may have already tackled painting your kitchen cabinets and accent walls and changed your lighting fixtures. If so, congratulations on that achievement! Now, let's look at some other home improvement projects you can tackle.
After painting accent walls, you may have noticed you also need to add a new coat of paint to the molding around your floors, ceilings, windows and doors. All you will need to get starting is paing and some paint supplies.
It may be cold now and your are not opening your doors and windows but come spring you will want to and you won't want pesky bugs getting in your house through holes and tears in your screens. This is a great winter home improvement project because you can bring the screens into your garage or basemnet to repair them in the off season. If you want to replace the entire screen you will need screen spline and rolling tool. You can buy these individually or pick up a complete screen replacement kit. If you have a small hole that just needs patched, you could use screen tape or pre-cut patches. A great place to buy these items is at our local hardware store in Sunriver, Camp Abbot Trading Co.
After spending time in your garage, you may realize you don't have much space with tools and sports gear everywhere. You can solve this issue with a few a garage organization measures. Get you garden tools out of the way with a wall mounted rack. A bike storage rack will get your bikes off the floor since you probably won't be riding them this winter. Add some hooks to store other things on the wall. A sports rack can keep all your balls, bats, gloves and rackets in one easy to find place. Stackable storage containers are great for all the other miscellaneous items you keep in the garage.
You can choose a closet organization system or select the pieces you need on your own. You may want to include space-saving collapsible hangers that let you hang four or five items in the same space as one regular hanger. Or, you could use an adjustable hanging rod , which gives you a two-tier system, doubling the number of clothes you can hang in the same space. Hanging shelves with drawers give you a great deal of flexibility, while a hanging shoe organizer will free up a lot of space on your floor.
If you're ready for more organizing, move on to the kitchen to find ways to create more space and make it easier to find the things you need. Arrange your silverware and cutlery with an expandable drawer organizer that will work in most drawers, narrow or wide. If your cans are always in the far reaches of your pantry, make them easier to find with a stackable can rack organizer. Take advantage of more space in your corner cabinet with a lazy susan. Keep your flour, sugar and other food fresh in stackable airtight food containers. With a pot rack organizer, you'll always be able to find the pot and lid you need without digging through your cupboard, while an over the door rack can be used for both spices and cans to save space in your pantry.
Ready for a new look for your bathroom? This may be a great time to spruce this room up with a new shower curtain, mat, and towels. Dress up your countertop with a new soap dispenser kit. Top it off by replacing your sink faucet and tub and shower kit.
You may not want to spring for new doors throughout your house or new cabinets, but you can give both a fresh, new look by replacing the door handles and cabinet knobs.
Hopefully this give you few ideas to spruce up your home before spring comes.
Article from move.com and written By: Laurie Garrison
Create Your Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen
Create a beautiful outdoor cooking space for relaxing and entertaining all summer long.
As summer approaches and temperatures start to rise, no one wants to spend time inside sweating over a hot stove. With an outdoor kitchen, you can make the most of the beautiful warm nights by spending them with your friends and family.
Whether you have thousands to spend or a just few hundred to splurge, create your own outdoor kitchen and enjoy all it has to offer.
A rusty, dusty grill doesn't inspire lingering outdoor evenings. Upgrade your outdoor grill and take care of it all year round for a stand-out outdoor kitchen. A standard grill will cost you $150 to $300, and top-of-the-line outdoor ranges may be upwards of $1,500.
Before buying the biggest and best grill, consider how you will use one. Will you be feeding the whole soccer team? Or perhaps grilling some steaks for a romantic dinner for two? Look for a grill with features you will actually use and not just the latest trends.
If your basics are up to date, then you'll want to upgrade your patio furniture and seating options too. If you plan on dining outside often, invest in an actual dining table and appropriate chairs. Eating a gourmet dinner off your lap downgrades an otherwise luxurious experience.
If you're looking for more versatile pieces, sleek contemporary options coordinate nicely with most outdoor kitchen setups. Expect to spend a good chunk of change on quality furniture, but remember: With the proper care and maintenance, it can last as long as high-end interior pieces. Make sure you have a plan for the off-season, whether that's moving outdoor furniture to indoor storage or securely covering it to protect it from the elements.
Want a prep sink? Wine fridge? Ice machine? Built-in smoker? You got it. The sky's the limit when it comes to custom additions — or rather, your budget is the limit. Think carefully about your space before making a wish list.
Perhaps a full chef's kitchen won't quite fit in your backyard, but a beautiful wine fridge and some extra counter space are just what you need to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level.
Some features require installing or extending utilities (think: water or electricity), so don't forget about portable additions such as a bar cart — which adds class without hassle.
Think about how you will provide amenities to make being outdoors comfortable, such as shade, heat (if using your space year-round), and perhaps even a few extras like a TV or audio equipment.
Tucking the seating close to the house may help you take advantage of a porch or awning. Otherwise, structures such as a light-strung pergola add shade during the day, light at night and atmosphere all the time.
If you have the room, the addition of a fireplace allows for a longer entertaining season. Outdoor kitchens don't have to be just for summer, after all.
If you like to have some indoor comforts while enjoying your beautiful outside oasis, television and music can be connected outside — although it can be expensive. Bluetooth or portable speakers, a projector and a large sheet, or even an old-fashioned radio are more budget-sensitive options for those looking to add a little fun to their outdoor space.
Create an outdoor kitchen that suits your style and taste. If you're working with an existing space, be sure to embrace the style and play up the features, such as dark wood, stone and classic columns.
If you're starting from scratch, take a look at your indoor design and see what features you like. Then consider incorporating those color schemes, design styles or even furniture shapes into your outdoor kitchen.
While you can't go wrong designing your outdoor space, consider designs and colors that are versatile so you're not limited if you want to mix things up in the future.
Your outdoor kitchen should be a comfortable, relaxing space for entertaining or unwinding after a long day of work. Make yours an escape that works for you.
When planning your outdoor kitchen, think about adding one or two small luxuries that will make you excited to enjoy your space. These can be as small as pretty tea lights scattered around or as large as a wood-burning pizza oven.
If you don't have a backyard and would like to find a home that does, search all homes for sale in Central Oregon here
Originally published June 2016. Natalie Wise