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Windows can account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. During the summer, sunny windows make your air conditioner work two to three times harder. If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them. New double-pane windows with high-performance glass are available on the market.


Cold Climate:

  • Install exterior or interior storm windows; storm windows can reduce your heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%
  • Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing
  • Close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day
  • Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to maximize solar gain
Somone closing a curtain.

Warm Climate:

  • Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house
  • Close curtains on south-and west-facing windows during the day
  • Install awnings on south-and west-facing windows
  • Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain


  • Remember, the lower the U-value, the better the insulation. In colder climates, a U-value of 0.35 or below is recommended
  • Select windows with air leakage ratings of 0.3 cubic feet per minute or less
  • In temperature climates with both heating and cooling seasons, select windows with both low U-values and low solar heat gain coefficiency (SHGC) to maximize energy benefits
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels
Exterior window shade over window on house.