Design with Daylight – The sun’s stint is shorter these days, so you want to soak up as much sunlight as you can — even when you’re inside! Daylighting is the use of windows and skylights to bring sunlight into your home. Here’s how it works:
South-facing windows allow most winter sunlight into the home.
North-facing windows bring in relatively even amounts of natural light.
East- and west-facing windows are bright sources of light during either the morning or afternoon, but they don’t contribute much to solar heating.
Energy-Efficient Lighting is a Bright Idea – It’s possible to have that warm, sunny glow inside your home, day or night, and not break the bank. Choose bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR® label — it means they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Consider using timers or dimmers that will save electricity by turning off lights automatically or offering lower light levels. Get into the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room.
Win Big with Window Coverings – Soak up as much sun as possible by keeping drapes open on south-facing windows during the day and closing them at night. Open your blinds and curtains when the sun is at its brightest, but be sure to close window coverings when the sun is in hiding. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, when drawn during cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10 percent.
Do a Double- (or Triple-) Take with Your Windows – Consider installing double- or triple-pane windows that have high-performance glass. The air, or in some cases gas, in between the windowpanes acts as extra insulation. Trained Window World professionals can help homeowners decide what types of windows work best in their climates, and they can install them according to local building codes and specifications.
Look Out for Air Leaks – Check for air leaks around windows, doors and pipes. Many of these areas can be filled with caulk or special coverings. Additionally, ensure weather-stripping around windows and doors is in good condition and isn’t frayed or worn down. You can tell if there’s an air leak around your windows by holding your hand close to the edges and determining if there’s a draft, or if you see sunlight coming through the edges.
Get with the (Temperature) Program – Install a programmable thermostat to keep temperatures from getting too hot or cold when you’re not at home. It may be tempting to crank up the heat as the days get cooler, but the lower the temperature is inside a house, the slower the heat loss.
Source: Window World