Can removing screens make a difference on my heating /cooling costs?

The simple answer to this question is absolutely yes.  It would seem odd to think that doing something this simple can make a difference, but it really can. 


As I have discussed in earlier blog topics, the heat in our homes is transferred 3 different ways.  The first is conduction.  Just simply the passing of heat through a solid wall is an example of this.  The second is convection.  The reason we use 2 pane windows with argon gas in the center is a good explanation on this.  The air spinning between the windowpanes is losing heat because of the spinning motion.  By adding argon gas, it slows this process of air spinning down or reduces the convection heat loss.  Third and last is the heat lost or gained in the form of radiation.  The sun is a powerful heating system and we are silly to think we cannot utilize this in the winter months to our advantage.  If we orientate a home towards the south with the majority of the windows facing that way, we will maximize the heat the sun can offer us.  The sun doesn’t rise and fall directly from the east to the west in the winter.  It sweeps southward giving us a better angle into the homes we build.  With this sunlight trying to pour into our homes, we need to allow it to freely enter.  I recommend all my clients to fully open their blinds facing this direction.  This is only the first step however.  Take those darn screens off as well.  By simply looking through a window with a screen on it, you can tell how much light is reduced.  Doing this one simple thing will not only allow more light and heat in, it will make your viewing that much better as well.  I must tell you to make sure to close those blinds at night though.  The free heat the sun gave you all day long will gladly leave your home if you don’t trap it in.  There are truly very limited times each year when the screens are actually necessary on your new home, so don’t bother rushing them back in place once winter is done.  A nice summer evening with your blinds open and screens off will also allow your home to cool that much sooner.  Give it a try and let me know your thoughts.  I think you will be glad you did. 

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