Get the Most Out of Your Energy Efficient Screens Year-Round

Get the Most Out of Your Energy Efficient Screens Year-Round

Your home’s screens play an important role in maintaining comfortable temperatures without breaking the bank on energy costs. From keeping out bugs and pollen in warmer months to blocking drafts and retaining heat in the winter, screens work hard so you don’t have to run your heating and air systems as often. With a little maintenance and some smart usage habits, you can maximize the benefits of your screens all year long.

Spring and Summer Screens

As temperatures rise in the spring and stay warm through summer, screens primarily serve to keep insects outside while still allowing airflow through open windows. Make sure your screens are properly installed and in good repair before the pesky bug season arrives. Check for any tears or gaps that would let mosquitoes, flies, and other critters sneak in. Repair or replace any damaged screens so you can leave windows open safely.

It’s also important to clean screens regularly during warmer months. Pollen, dirt, and debris can build up and block air flow if not rinsed off periodically. Use a spray bottle of water mixed with a small amount of dish soap to gently clean screens, then rinse and dry thoroughly. Avoid harsh scrubbing that could further damage fragile screen mesh. Spot clean any stubborn residue as needed.

Fall and Winter Energy Efficiency

As fall arrives and temperatures start to decline, your screens serve a new purpose – helping retain indoor warmth. While opened less often for ventilation, keeping screens installed year-round provides an extra layer of insulation to block drafts coming through windows. Take some time in early fall to prepare screens for their new winter role.

Remove any remaining ScreenCleaners or other chemical residues that could degrade screens over time. Thoroughly rinse and allow to fully dry. Also check seals around windows for air leaks and apply fresh caulk or weatherstripping if needed before temperatures drop. Properly sealed and gasketed window units work with screens to boost energy efficiency.

Come winter, close exterior storm windows over regular window screens for additional protection from cold drafts. Or install removable interior storm window panels if exterior storms are not feasible. The extra barrier helps prevent heat loss dramatically compared to leaving windows bare. Close tight any window coverings like blinds, shades or curtains at night for an insulating layer screens can’t provide alone.

Maximizing Your Screens' Performance

To get maximum benefit from energy efficient screens every season, a few maintenance habits will go a long way:

  • Inspect screens thoroughly twice a year – in early spring and fall. Check for tears, loose threads, corrosion or other damage and replace or repair screens as needed before new seasons arrive.
  • Clean screens monthly during warmer months or whenever visible dirt/debris collects using a mild soap and water solution. Rinse thoroughly and allow to fully air dry.
  • Install interior or exterior storm windows coverings in colder months over regular window screens for additional insulation against drafts and heat loss.
  • Apply fresh caulk or weatherstripping around window frames annually before temperature shifts to seal any air gaps. Ensure a tight fit with screens.
  • Vacuum around window screens occasionally inside and out during seasons of use to remove dust buildup that could block air flow.
  • Check window seals and operation annually. Replace faulty window units that don’t close or seal tightly for maximum combined efficiency with installed screens.
  • Consider upgrading to Energy Star rated screens for windows if your current ones are more than 10 years old. Newer screens provide improved blocking of outside elements and drafts year-round.
  • Leave screens installed year-round rather than removing for storage after warmer seasons end. The insulation layer helps whether windows are open or closed during temperature changes.

With some low-effort maintenance and understanding their versatile functions, energy efficient window screens can truly maximize comfort and lower utility costs around your home all year long. Small investments of time and money into screens pay off in long-term energy savings and protection from outside elements each season brings.

Other Energy Saving Solutions

In addition to attentive screen care, a few other low-cost measures boost home efficiency in tandem:

Weatherstripping & Caulking

Take 30 minutes this fall to inspect all exterior doors and windows for air leaks around frames. Apply new weatherstripping or caulk as needed. Sealing drafts is one of the fastest ROI energy solutions and works with screens for improved insulation.

Window Film & Window Quilts

Install window film on south- and west-facing glass to block over 50% of solar heat gain in summer. Or use magnetic window quilts in winter that trap an insulating layer of air between panes for significant warmth retention. The quilts peel off screens each spring.

Thermoses & Insulated Curtains

During very hot or cold weather, consider double insulating windows at night with thermoses behind curtains or blinds for 24-hour temperature regulation benefits that outlast sunny/windy conditions.

Attic Insulation

Crawl spaces or attics lack sufficient insulation, heat gain or loss through the roof can overwork your HVAC. Add R38-R60 blown-in cellulose or fiberglass for one of the most affordable energy upgrades available.

A few adjustments and regular attention to energy efficient windows and screens, combined with some low-cost whole home sealing and insulation solutions, provide superior comfort year-round while lowering utility costs significantly over the long run. With improved efficiency in every season, homes stay comfortable on less energy usage and smaller utility bills.

Tightly Sealed, Well-Insulated Living Spaces

By focusing on tasks like maintaining screens, inspecting for drafts, and upgrading attics or crawl spaces, homeowners gain double the benefits. Not only do energy efficiency measures save money on bills directly, they also contribute to a more tightly sealed, well-insulated home environment.

This means retaining indoor temperatures closer to the desired set points without needing to over-work HVAC systems quite as hard. Less extreme temperature fluctuations indoors in turn prevent over-cooling or over-heating, conserving even more energy.

Well-maintained screens and a few other targeted upgrades create living spaces where comfort is maximized while reducing utility usage at the same time. Taking advantage of energy saving solutions for all four seasons sets homeowners up for fewer drafts, lower bills, and year-round satisfaction from their homes. With diligent screen care combined with sealing air leaks and upgrade projects, any budget can enjoy the perks of increased efficiency and long-term savings.

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