Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Money out the windows

We have 23 windows.  That seems like a lot doesn't it?  You never really realize how many windows you have until you start counting them.  Which I did today because we need to replace some of them.  Our home is only 12 years old so you'd think we wouldn't need to replace windows already but if any of you bought a standard builder home like we did, you know they skimp on things sometimes.  Windows are one of those things.

So what do windows have to do with green living?  A lot actually.  It's all about energy efficiency.  I don't want to pay to heat up the neighborhood in the winter nor do I want to feel the guilt of wasting all that electricity (which in my region probably comes from coal or nuclear).  In the summer, you don't really notice the heat coming in through the windows, but boy oh boy do you feel those drafts in the winter.  Just stick your hand by any of our windows and you'll feel the cold air by the cracks.  Not to mention you can tell they are the thinnest, cheapest, standard windows a builder can put in and get away with it.

So it's time to get new windows!  We had 4 major windows done a few years ago by Thompson Creek (local Maryland company) and were very happy with them, so we are getting the windows upstairs done by them too.  We had REALLY drafty windows in our family room and since the new Thompson Creek windows were installed we have noticed quite a big difference.  They are pretty expensive though so even though we wanted to do all our windows, we couldn't afford to do so.  So we did those 4 "biggies" first since  we knew money was literally going out the windows due to the big cracks and other issues with them.  But now it's time for 5 more windows upstairs.

Can I just say I'm so excited about this?

I'm not one to be excited about buying new things, esp. when I try to buy anything I can secondhand or recycle old things into new things, etc. but you just can't do that with windows.  And as far as being "green" sure I can go and try to find some bamboo made windows or something like that, but I'm going to stick with a local company who actually makes them here locally, not somewhere in China, so GHG on transportation is minimal since they are being transported locally.  But I also found out from Tony Testa, our sales guy today, that Thompson Creek actually takes your old window and recycles every bit of it!  The glass, the vinyl, any metal pieces, etc.  That makes this green gal very happy.  That and the fact that they are having a 30% sale this month.  I may be trying to live as green as possible, but I'm also trying to live as frugally as possible.

So I'm curious, what do you do to try and minimize your home energy costs?  Any ideas or tips to share?

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