Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Energy-Efficient Kryptonite Window Solutions

We interrupt this 60 Percent Blog for the following….

Action Alert:
Very important. I am asking you to do something quick and downright political. Apparently there was supposed to be some sort of public consultation on Canada’s commitment to Kyoto which apparently ends tomorrow (Thursday). If the public voices no concern about the feds ditching Kyoto and favouring voluntary reductions on greenhouse gases, Harper can claim to the courts that Canadians prefer his approach. If you too favour ineffectiveness, please say nothing. On the other hand, if you like to see Canada part of an international commitment to reduce emissions, please take two seconds out of your day and click here to add your name to the petition -

For some important info on the upcoming Ontario elections, scroll down.

Back to Our Regular Program
In preparing for winter it would be ideal to replace old drafty windows with efficient ones. Old windows can potentially leak up to 25 percent of your home’s heat. They can also let in about 40 percent of the sun’s warmth in the summer. Given the price tag of high-end windows, such an investment is likely not going to happen for awhile, at least for Jane and me. Given the price tag of your high utility bill, it’s an investment you want to save for.

The following is a sliding scale, based on budget, on what you can do to make your windows work for you and the environment this winter.

You’ve got money to burn or you’ve scrimped and saved and can now afford the most effective energy saving windows on the market. That’s right, you’re in the market for the souped up triple-glazed window, made with low-emissive (aka low-e) glass and filled with krypton and argon gas.

What’s low-e? Low-e reduces heat gain and loss through these windows. They should be placed on the north side of your home and not the south. For south facing windows you want to be able to draw in solar warmth during the winter while keep out the cold in the winter. Please consult your dealer about the right windows for your home.

What’s krypton and argon gas? The former is exported from the planet Krypton of course - Powerful enough to block the cold and superman. Click here to find a more earthly explanation.

For a helpful guide on choosing the right Energy Star windows for your climate, visit All Weather Windows.

Raid the Piggy-Bank
You’ve got a bit of money tucked away sorta-somewhere and are considering insulating blinds. The best on the market are honeycomb or cellular curtains. These shades help control heat in the summer and cold in the winter from invading your home. They can be found at most places where you purchase blinds.

When you’re still at a stage when you’re daunted by your mortgage payments, as we are, it’s time to get creative. Friends of ours adhere thermal plastic sheeting, using double-sided tape, to their inside window frames when the weather cools down. Then they get out the ole’ hair dryer to seal it all up. According to my insider source, “I'm not sure what the ‘R’ value is but for our drafty old house with single pane windows it makes all the difference in the world.”

Then come the spring, you can peel it off.

You can pick up this sheeting from your local hardware store.

No Budget
Read my last week’s installment on caulking. Always the first place to start anyway.

Ontario Election
Ontarians have a chance to make history this coming election. For the first time we will be presented with a referendum on reforming our voting system from First Passed the Post to Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP).

For an unbiased explanation, visit Elections Canada
For a biased explanation, visit Vote for MMP

I’m all for MMP because it will enable parties like the NDP and Greens to be better represented in Parliament.

In the News

Missed energy opportunities
A good read for those of you in Ontario

Car Free Day – Thursday, September 20
Focus on just walking, riding the bike or taking transit.

Drought, Oil Send Food Prices Soaring
This is a bleak climate change story coming out of Australia.

In Turnaround, Industries Seek U.S. Regulations
Finally, the penny is starting to drop.

Other News

BBC – The Greenroom

Ecoshock Radio

Green Bloggers

Grist Magazine


My Green Element

New York Times – Environment

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

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