If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably considered how you can improve your home’s efficiency by lowering bills and increasing your comfort while inside. You may have replaced appliances to use EnergyStar rated pieces that use less electricity and you may have installed water saving plumbing fixtures. Those concepts are helpful and worthy of applause, but more importantly is to consider the overall structure and how the house functions as a whole.

Doors and Door Styles

You may consider doors to be nothing more than your entrance, you may realize they are a welcoming invitation to guests, or you may view them as security against intruders. Although doors serve all of those functions, they are much more. Doors are part of your insulation when properly installed. Everybody has a friend who keeps a rolled up towel, or perhaps a decorative piece specifically for this function, on the floor to kick against the bottom and block the draft coming through. Although it may be helpful, such solutions are only a temporary surface patch at best and certainly not intended as a long term fix. Proper doors don’t need such things as they seal when closed.

Once you consider the structural importance of a door, there are a number of cosmetic applications you can use to achieve it. There are metal doors available that provide strength and security while offering a pretty look when properly maintained and painted. Wooden doors provide a classic look with a weight that feels admirable when you open and close the door. Sliding patio doors allow additional light in from a deck or porch without using space to open, while French doors provide a timeless grace and class. Doors which open outward are an option suitable for smaller rooms or if the layout requires furniture positioning that makes an inward opening door feel awkward.

Windows and Window Options

Windows, like doors, should be securely sealed when closed but easy to open and use as needed. Older windows are famous for allowing uncomfortable drafts in, and you’ve probably seen a few horribly ugly ways to seal the edges of a window that doesn’t work properly. New windows open and close as needed while adding appeal and value to your home. The double pane style of windows currently set a standard as the gas filled space between window panes provides insulation to keep the outdoors outside.

Windows also are available in a multitude of styles to fit your needs and those of the room. A basic practical style of window is the double hung which looks nice, seals your home against the weather, and opens smoothly as needed. Bay windows provide natural light for a room along with a focal point. Bay windows are a great place to put indoor plants or a reading area. Horizontally sliding windows may fit a room better, especially in a kitchen where cabinetry disallows for a full length window but you want the extra exterior lighting.

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