Windows can be one of your home"s most attractive features. Windows provide views, daylighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, sunny windows can also make your air conditioner work two to three times harder during the summer. If you are located in the desert areas of the state, look into new solar control spectrally selective windows, which can cut the cooling load by more than half.
If your house has single-pane windows, consider replacing them. New double-pane windows with high-performance glass (e.g., low-e or spectrally selective) are available on the market. In the mountain areas of the state, select windows that are gas filled with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass to reduce heat loss. In the desert areas, select windows with spectrally selective coatings to reduce heat gain.
10 Energy-Saving Tips That Require An Investment
1. Seal heating and cooling ductwork. Duct leakage can be substantial--as much as 20% to 30%. Use water based mastic only.
2. Buy EPA Energy Star labeled energy-efficient equipment. When buying or replacing office equipment, compare energy requirements of various models.
3. Repaint building exterior with light colors. More sunlight will be reflected away from the building, thus lowering air-conditioning expenses. This is especially true for your roof.
4. Replace old appliances with more efficient models. Replacing an old dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, or furnace -- with a new, energy-efficient model can really save energy and money. Look for the Energy Star label.
5. Home Energy Audit. A home energy audit can identify ways to save up to hundreds of dollars a year on home heating and air conditioning.
6. Increase attic insulation to R-30. Insulation helps keep heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter.
7. Insulate floors over unheated spaces to R-19. Insulation provides a thermal boundary, reducing energy use and increasing comfort.
8. Insulate and seal ducts in attics, crawl spaces, garages and other unheated areas.
9. Install Energy Star windows. These windows cost ~$0.50 /sq.ft. more than standard windows, save energy and increase comfort.
10. Install a solar water heater. A solar water heater can provide 50% to 80% of your hot water needs.