Summer Upgrades for Winter Savings

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While most Alaskans don’t want to spend the summer thinking about drafty entryways and icy buildup on window sills, the warmer months can be a great time to plan ahead to ensure your home is comfortable when the snow falls. 

Upgrading older windows and exterior doors to energy efficient options can help to lower your utility costs and enhance the appearance and comfort of your home. 

A Warm Welcome

Whether you’re hoping to make a good first impression on potential homebuyers or simply create a welcoming entry for family and friends, replacing your home’s front door can be a fast and simple way to improve your home’s curb appeal.

When shopping for a replacement, look for ENERGY STAR certified products. These products have met energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. Department of Energy or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and use less energy than standard products.  

ENERGY STAR certified doors are designed with core materials such as fiberglass or steel with a polyurethane foam core that can help reduce unwanted airflow in a home. 

When properly installed, these energy efficient exterior doors can reduce your heating and cooling costs by offering improved insulation over older styles. Energy Saver estimates that a 1-½ inch thick fiberglass or steel door without a window provides five times the insulation value as a wood door of the same size. 

ENERGY STAR certified windows

The Department of Energy estimates that heat gain and loss through windows account for 25-30% of heating and cooling costs in residential buildings. This presents homeowners with an opportunity to save. 

On average, ENERGY Star estimates that homeowners in northern climates save 9% annually when they upgrade their double pane windows to ENERGY STAR certified windows. For homeowners replacing single pane windows, the potential savings jumps to 22%.

The interior side of ENERGY STAR certified windows also stay warmer than non-certified options, reducing condensation and uncomfortable drafts. 

An Ideal Time for Upgrades

Summer months can be the ideal time to upgrade your home’s windows and doors, as the work will inevitably create drafty conditions during installation.

While Alaska homeowners might not notice significant savings on their energy bills until winter, these improvements can create a more comfortable environment from the start and enhance the aesthetic appeal of your indoor and outdoor living spaces. 

Exterior door and window upgrades that satisfy energy efficiency requirements may be eligible for the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Homeowners planning to utilize this incentive can benefit from a tax credit of 30% of costs for exterior doors up to $250 per door, up to a total of $500. For windows, the tax credit is 30% of costs up to $600

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