Look to Windows When Considering Solutions for Saving Energy Dollars

Heating prices are on the rise and both consumers and businesses will feel the financial strain this winter. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy predicted that heating costs for homes using natural gas or fuel oil could be as much as 20 percent higher this year than last. Electricity and propane prices are rising too.

According to Mark Zandi, chief economist for Economy.com, a Pennsylvania forecasting company, quoted in the August 29th issue of U.S. News and World Report, the average household spends 6 percent of its budget on energy costs which include gasoline, utility bills and home heating; a number that is up from around 4 percent in 2002. The arrival of Hurricane Katrina is not factored into these predictions and has already begun to inflate these costs.

The secretary of state of Massachusetts has urged consumers to start winterizing their homes. A simple step in these efforts is to look at window upgrades or replacements. Heat loss through doors and windows represents a full third of a home's total heating bill, according to a press release from Mercury Excelum of East Windsor, Conn. The National Resource Defense Council argues that if millions of homes and businesses cut their fuel consumption by a few percent, total demand would fall and prices would too. In other words, efforts to make a home more fuel efficient now could have both short-term and long-term financial benefits.

Seeking the advice of a qualified installer to help analyze the most cost effective solutions for a home is highly recommended, according to the release. There are many information sources to guide one through the window purchase process, including websites such as www.energystar.gov, www.efficientwindows.org and www.efrc.org.

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