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Author: Marv Shidler
Last updated: April 5, 2009
Replacing or Installing New Energy Star Qualified Windows, Doors and Skylights
In a typical house, over 40% of the annual energy budget is consumed by heating and cooling. Proper selection of windows, doors and skylights can significantly effect how much money we spend or save every year on keeping the home bright and comfortable. Energy Star labeled products makes it possible for consumers to identify efficient windows, doors and skylights. Energy Star qualified products are independently certified to perform at levels that meet or exceed guidelines set by the US Department of Energy. Thanks to a host of new technologies, Energy Star qualified products are twice as efficient as the average window produced just ten years ago.
Energy Star products can substantially cut a home's annual utility costs. And according to Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Survey, home owners who install new windows can expect to recoup 85% of that investment when selling the property.
If your furnace is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, consider replacing it with one that has earned the Energy Star label. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency units can save up to 15% on heating costs.
If your air conditioner is old, consider purchasing a new, energy-efficient model. You could save up to 50% on your utility bill for cooling. Look for the Energy Star and EnergyGuide labels.
Most people don't know that a water heater can account for about 13% of utility costs. When replacing your water heater, look for the rating on the Energy Guide label. The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the water heater. Additionally, consult with a plumbing contractor about whether a tankless water heater – which heats only on demand – is right for your needs.