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Windows are typically responsible for about a third of the home's heat loss, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. To reduce the loss, weatherize existing windows or replace them. Here's what the ACEEE recommends:

If the existing windows have rotted or damaged wood, cracked glass, missing putty, poorly fitting sashes, or locks that don't work, you may be better off replacing them. If the windows are generally in good shape, it will probably be more cost-effective to boost their efficiency by weatherstripping, caulking, and fitting them with storm panels.*

Below are guides to energy-efficient windows from trusted sources:

Efficient Window Collaborative, Selecting Energy Efficient Windows in Washington

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings: Condensed On-line Version, New Windows

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Consumer's Guide, Windows, Doors and Skylights

Energy Savers, Windows

Energy Star, Residential Windows, doors and Skylights

The Rocky Mountain Institute, Home Energy Briefs #1, Building Envelope (Registration is required to download this free publications.)

*Source: "Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, 8th Edition," by Alex Wilson, Jennifer Thorne, and John Morrill; ACEEE; 2003.

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Content provided by:

Washington State University Extention Energy Program
   State of Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development