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Cutting Down On Winter Energy Costs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We could probably all use a little help cutting down on energy costs, considering the average Minnesotan will spend around $700 this winter heating their homes.

Dan Martens makes his living on looking air leaks. As the owner Pro Energy Consultants, he checks homes for cracks and gaps where warm air can escape. He says windows are often the biggest culprit.

“I mean, it’s a window. It’s a hole to the outside and glass isn’t so efficient.” says Martens.

To keep the cold out, more window coverings are now being made more energy-efficient. Hirshfield’s sells coverings made with extra material to help block winter’s chill.

“It’s like putting a blanket on your window, so it will keep out that cold air that’s coming in constantly, especially on an older window,” says Dawn Feda, a certified window treatment specialist with Hirshfield’s.

Windows and coverings are rated with an R-value. The higher the number they’re rated, the better. A common window rating is 3.5.

For example, a Hunter Douglas Vignette Architella window can increase the rating by more than 70 percent. The Duette Architella can more than double a common window’s rating.

“If you have the window treatments and the blinds that are keeping the air on that side of the window, everything like that is going to help,” says Martens, who also suggests using caulk and/or foam tape to help seal leaky windows.

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