Boost Your Home’s Energy Efficiencies

Winter is coming, and that means another polar vortex could be on its way. If the windows, doors and siding on your home aren’t prepared, now is a good time to reinforce these barriers.

Protecting yourself means ensuring your home is as energy-efficient as possible, say Sue and Bob McDowell, of McDowell Remodeling, in St. Charles. The firm specializes in all aspects of home remodeling.

Increasingly, the team is being asked to install insulated siding, a product that looks like traditional siding but comes with a foam backing that shuts out noises, wind and energy loss.

“We sided a house for a customer 10 years ago using insulated siding. In the home he just bought, he put in new windows but now wants us to put on insulated siding,” says Bob McDowell. “He told us he can feel the difference in the insulated glass, but he can still feel air infiltration coming through the walls.”

Maintenance-free and energy-efficient are the biggest demands clients have for new doors and windows. Wood and vinyl tend to be the most popular options, but with so many choices on the market, how do you narrow it down?

Wood remains the age-old standby, but the McDowells find people more often are turning to vinyl windows. Today’s options are much improved over the “cheap” looking options of yesterday.

“We had a client from Geneva who didn’t think that option was for them, that it wasn’t appropriate for their style of home,” says Sue. “But when they saw the actual product they changed their mind, and they couldn’t be happier.”

Vinyl windows have the added benefit of being installed from the outside, which means less possibility for damage to your interior finishes, including moldings, wallpaper and paint. “Replacement of a complete wood window is more involved,” says Sue.

Pay attention to R-values, as those indicate how energy efficient a product is. Higher R-values indicate better insulation.

“There are so many choices in products today, especially windows,” says Sue. “It’s most important that you work with someone you trust, to help guide you as you make the best decision for your home.” ❚

McDowell Remodeling is located at 521 W. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-2255.