After one of the hottest summers we’ve ever experienced, it’s been cold and wet in the past few weeks here in the Sacramento region. Not only has it been cold at night but during the day – when even in late fall/early winter it is typically still warm enough to go outside without a coat – the temperatures feel almost frigid. Over the next week, the highest “high” is only 50 degrees. That is very cold for this area.
So if you’re in Sacramento, or the Sacramento region, and you’ve been home during the day, you’ve probably felt like your property has been much colder than normal and that you’ve needed to run your heating/HVAC in order to keep the property warm enough for your comfort level.
The Price of Gas and Electricity in Sacramento
The problem is that the price of gas and electricity in the Sacramento region has been increasing rapidly. Even more so if you live in places like El Dorado Hills or Roseville that have PGE. Running your heater can cost in excess of $500 a month in some properties, and the more you have to run your heater, the more expensive it becomes.
Energy Inefficient Windows
One of the reasons for this may be older windows that are not energy efficient. Many of the properties in Northern California were built before double pane windows were required, and single pane windows leak a substantial amount of energy. Furthermore, all windows have a lifespan of typically about 20 years. If a long time has passed since your windows were last replaced, you’re opening the door to further problems.
But how do you know if your windows are not energy efficient enough?
- Single Pane – No single pane windows are energy efficient. The technology of windows back in the 1960s and prior was not very strong, as windows were only a thin sheet of glass. Heat and cool air transfers easily through that glass, resulting in cooler winter temperatures in the house.
- Cool Air Near Window – If you hover your hand over the glass of the window, you should not feel any cool air. If you touch the window on a cold winter day while your heater is on, it may be cool, but it shouldn’t be cold. If it’s cold, it means there is too much air transfer.
- Very High Energy Cost – If you’re friends with your neighbors, and they have a similar home and lifestyle, see if they’ll tell you their energy bills. You can find out how yours compares, and then determine if it’s possible the windows are to blame.
- Candle Test – Take a lit candle and move it slowly around the frame of the window. If you notice the flame moving towards or away from a specific part of the window, you may have a leak. You can also try a smoke test using incense if you find the candle test too difficult.
- Research the Window – If you know the name or brand of your current windows, sometimes you can look it up. Windows have energy efficiency ratings. New windows typically have much better energy efficiency compared to windows from even 20+ years ago.
Windows alone can be responsible for as much as a 30% decrease in energy efficiency or more, costing you potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars in energy loss every year.
Windows – Or Something Else?
California Energy Consultant Service is a window replacement company. But we’re also an energy efficiency company. We do work with HVAC systems (including furnaces and heating systems), siding, and more. As you’re performing these tests, you’ll want to make sure that you’re also considering other potential causes of energy loss or cold rooms.
It may not just be windows. It may be a heating system that is not working properly, or siding that doesn’t have the proper insulation. At Cal Energy, we can actually perform energy assessments as a service that can help you figure out the causes of your energy loss and the right solutions to fix them.
Nevertheless, often times, what you need is new windows. If you’re in Sacramento, Folsom, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Roseville, Elk Grove – anywhere within the Greater Sacramento region – call California Energy Consultant Service today to schedule time for a quote.