This year marks the 21st anniversary of October as National Energy Awareness Month. Experts at Simonton Windows, ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Windows and Doors, Three Years in a Row” by J.D. Power and Associates, offer a variety of tips for consumers who wish to perform a window and patio door “check-up” to gauge the energy efficiency of these products in their homes.

“Virtually every building component in a home needs to be replaced at some point, and windows are no exception,” said Gary Pember of Simonton Windows. “We’d like to think that our roof, siding and windows will last forever, but they won’t.

“Marking your calendar each October to routinely check your windows and patio doors helps ensure they are performing the way they were designed to perform. These checks also help determine when it’s time to consider a window replacement project that can offer you long-term energy savings — especially if you live in an older home.”

Pember recommended the following do-it-yourself tips to gain an initial impression of how well your current windows and patio doors are functioning:

1. Examine the inside of your windows and patio doors for hot and cold “drafty” spots (or drafty areas). This indicates air infiltration, which can lead to reduced energy efficiency.

2. Check every window and door to make sure there is adequate weatherstrip-ping and caulking around the units. This helps eliminate air infiltration and ensures a weather-tight, secure seal.

3. Look for “burnt out” or faded areas on your furnishings and carpeting. This could indicate harmful, damaging UV rays are entering your home through your windows or doors. You may want to consider replacement with more energy efficient units containing Low E coatings on the glass.

4. If your windows no longer open or close easily — or if they need to be propped open — it could mean key components within the units are damaged or need adjustment. It could also mean the unit needs to be replaced entirely.

5. Check the “fit” of your current windows or patio doors by having someone stand outside the units at night. With a small flashlight, stand inside and “travel” around the edge of the units. If the person outside sees light coming through the edges, this indicates poor installation and results in energy loss.


If your evaluation turns up one or more problem areas, it may be time to consider replacing your windows or doors. Be sure to contact an experienced window installation professional such as a Simonton ProNetwork member.

“Window replacements are both a shortand long-term investment in your home,” said Pember. “You’ll immediately help reduce your energy bills. And, having newer, more energy-efficient windows is a great selling point when it comes time to put a house on the market.”

Vinyl is an excellent insulator and many people choose low-maintenance vinyl frames with an Argon or Krypton gas fill and Low E glass. These harmless gasses are denser than air and serve as an excellent thermal barrier. These components all work together to reduce thermal conductivity, or the transfer of heat and cold through a window. Visit EnergyEfficiency/ for more details on energy-efficient glass options.

“Do your homework and research the windows you’re buying and the company that manufactures them,” advised Pember. “Not all windows, nor window companies, are equal. Price is important, but it’s not the critical factor. The key is investing wisely and making sure your replacement windows meet ENERGY STAR® guidelines for your geographic area.”

For more energy saving ideas, visit or


This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

How to maintain energy-efficiency at home

Fall brings many changes that can affect your home. Now is the ideal time for homeowners to prepare their homes to be secure and energy-efficient. With some easy updates and modern tools, your home will be ready for fall with surprisingly little effort.

You can keep your home safe, secure and energy-efficient wherever you are with modern tools like the Iris Smart Kit, which allows you to manage home tasks right from your smart-phone and operate as an affordable security system. Automatically turn the light on in your living room as you approach the house at night, receive a text when your kids arrive home from school or receive an alert when the motion sensor on your front door is activated while away on holiday vacations.

Available at Lowe’s, this easy-to-use home automation system is affordable for homeowners and renters. The kit includes a smart plug that can remotely control devices in the home, such as lamps, and report back on the specific device’s current and historical energy usage.

Iris can be easily installed by the homeowner and the basic level of monitoring service is free. The free service includes text and voice alerts to the homeowner when alarms are triggered, remote control of connected devices, thermostats and locks and access to remote video streaming from cameras in the home via smartphone or computer.


New technologies such as Iris make keeping your home safe, secure and energy-efficient as easy as picking up your smartphone.

This article is courtesy of Bradpoint.