5 Window Cleaning Secrets to Make Your Windows Shine!

By March, our drizzly gray days start to wear on even the most die-hard Oregonians. When the sun finally comes out, you might notice that all the rain we’ve been getting has made your windows gunky and difficult to see through. Hiring a professional window washer is great, but it can be costly.

Here are 5 secrets to having super clean windows – without spending a fortune:

  1. To make windows and mirrors sparkle, dip a clean cloth in a 50/50 mixture of borax and water or denatured alcohol and wipe down. Polish with a lint-free rag or paper towel.
  1. To achieve the highest shine and clearest view on windows and other glass surfaces, after washing and drying thoroughly, wipe them down with a clean, dry blackboard eraser.
  1. To clean windows that you’ve put off for so long that they’re now absolutely filthy and completely daunting, add three Tablespoons of clear ammonia (not sudsy ammonia, which will leave streaks) or three Tablespoons of vinegar to a small bucket of cool water. (Note: Do not use both ammonia and vinegar, as they will neutralize each other)
  1. For particularly hard spots, use full-strength rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits, a clean rag, and some elbow grease.
  1. To get accumulated grit out of window edges and corners, use a Q-tip dipped in vinegar. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

free-consultationIf tackling this window cleaning projects inspires you to replace some old windows or doors, don’t hesitate to give EnergyGuard Windows and Doors a call.

EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.

 

5 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill This Spring

window_film You may not be able to control the cost of some of your monthly expenses, but you CAN control how much you spend on your energy bill. Try these 5 tips to help you save money this spring:

1. Soften those rays
Closing the curtains and lowering the blinds on the sunny side of your house will help keep you cooler on hot days. If you don’t want to obstruct the view, consider applying window film to the glass. Both the do-it-yourself cut-and-stick type and the professionally applied films will reduce radiant heat while allowing you to see through them. Similarly, the Rocky Mountain Institute suggests using outdoor awnings and, if you live in an area that is warm all year round, even painting your house a light color to reflect heat away.

2. Get your annual checkup
Your house’s biggest electricity guzzler is the air conditioner (and heating in the winter), accounting for as much as half of your energy bill. Make sure your systems are running at their highest efficiency by having annual professional cleanings and checkups. To help you remember, schedule a service call either when you set your clocks forward in the spring or back in the fall.

3. Landscape for a cooler home
Keep the greenery trimmed around your air conditioners for more efficient air flow. Similarly, if you have a central air conditioner, sweep away any leaves or other debris that accumulated near it over the winter.

4. Touch that dial
Don’t keep your thermostat at a steady temperature. When you’re away at work or asleep, turn it up so your air conditioner doesn’t click on as often. Better yet, get a programmable house thermostat or a timer on your window units. That way you can come home to a cool house without running your air conditioner all day. Do the same in winter with your heat. Raising or lowering the temperature can save as much as $100 a year. Heat pumps are one exception to this rule. “A heat pump is more electrically efficient if it is kept at a constant setting,” according to George Lewis of the energy company PPL Corporation.

5. Replace your light bulbs
Fluorescent bulbs may be more expensive initially, but they are definitely worth the investment. A single standard incandescent light bulb can cost the same to operate as six to 10 fluorescent bulbs—and the fluorescents last about 10 times longer. There are lots of new shapes and types, including attractive compact units that give off a pleasing, soft illumination like traditional bulbs. But “be sure your electric eyes and timers are rated for fluorescent,” says Alan Muenzel, owner of DAM Home Inspections, Salt Lake City.

Need help designing the perfect windows and doors for your home remodel and/or window and door replacement project? We have energy saving design install tips for every budget!

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.

EnergyGuard Windows Celebrating National “Corn Chip Day “

frito pie

EnergyGuard Windows is celebrating National “Corn Chip Day” today in our showroom.

When visiting our window replacement showroom you will normally smell something yummy cooking.  Since today is National Corn Chip Day we will be cooking Frito Pie…    Call us to make a appointment to come to the showroom.  While you are checking our replacement windows and doors you to can have some Frito Pie…  If for any reason you cannot make it to our showroom you can still enjoy some Frito Pie with our recipe posted below.

Here is a little tidbit of information on the corn chip.

The first corn chips were brought to us in the 1930’s.  They were Frito Lay’s Corn Chips. Then came the Frito Pie or as some call it Frito Casserole.

There are a few stories about the Frito Pie origins and many renditions of the recipe.

One story is that the founder of Frito Lay’s mother came up with the recipe.  The other is that in the 1960’s a woman named Teresa Hernandez, a cook at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Santa Fe invented the recipe.  Either way we love it.

 

Frito Pie Caserole by EnergyGuard Windows & Doors

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

 Ingredients:

2 14 oz cans of chili (hot or mild and with or without beans)

1 onion diced

1 – 2 jalapeno diced

1 red bell pepper diced

Chopped cilantro

1 large bag Fritos

3 cups of shredded cheese ( yellow cheese or just experiment with what you like)

avocado, lettuce, radishes, as side condiments

Directions:

In a 9 x 9 baking dish spread a thin layer of Fritos along the bottom

Pour ½ of your heated chili over the bottom layer of Fritos

Sprinkle with cheese, onions, cilantro and red peppers

Completely cover with another layer of Fritos

Repeat until you have as many layers as you like.

Bake at 350 Oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and the cheese is melted.

Serve with the avocado, lettuce radishes and anything else you like.

Yummy

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.

Does Window Replacement Have To Wait for Warmer Weather?

rain windowA common misconception that homeowners have is that they have to wait until warmer weather to replace their windows and doors.  False False False.

The window replacement installation process that  EnergyGuard Windows & Doors implements allows us to install windows and doors year round, especially in cold and rainy weather.  In fact, the sooner you get your windows replaced,  this winter,  the better it will be on your pocketbook when it comes to winter heating bills.

If the window and door openings are covered by overhangs etc, then there is no problem installing regardless if it is raining or not.  We have tents that we work under so that the tools and new windows have minimum exposure to the rain.  There are extra steps taken in the rainy days like using more drop cloths and removing shoes when possible  to insure that our installation crew is not tracking the outside elements in.  When replacing your windows we will only remove one window at a time,  which allows for a minimum amount of energy loss as well as limits the cold coming into the house.  We also use All Weather caulks and sealants to seal the windows and doors at the time of installation.

So now that we have fixed the misconception about cold weather window installation maybe it is  time for you to get your windows and doors replaced so that you can start saving money on your energy bills, right?  True True True

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in-home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.

 

 

 

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10 Ways To Winterize Your Doors & Windows

freezing-coldFreezing temperatures have arrived.  Here are 10 tips for how to winterize your windows and doors so you don’t get left out in the cold. If you have a suggestion that isn’t in the list be sure to add it in the comments below.

  1. Replace any old or inefficient windows. Windows are one of the major ways heat leaks out of your house.
  2. Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.
  3. If you have a lot of outside doors that leak air, you can seal a few off using plastic or caulk putty.
  4. Try replacing the weather stripping around the doors in your home.
  5. Uncover all south-facing windows to let all possible sunlight in your home.
  6. Check windows for leaks. Windows with wooden frames often warp and become inefficient.
  7. Caulk both sides of the trim around your windows.  This is an area where a lot of air can get in.
  8. If your home has a sliding glass door, check the seal on the bottom to make sure it isn’t letting in cold air.
  9. Install storm doors to help keep out drafts.
  10. Make sure that there aren’t any drafts coming in under doors. If there are, consider using a rubber strip to seal them off.

We hope these tips help you keep the cold out this winter!

 

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.
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Winter Is Coming: How To Weatherize Your Home

(article reprinted from Re-Nest)

We know, we know. Just writing those words hurt our hearts. But it’s true: the first day of Fall (has come and gone), which means Winter is right around the corner. Now is the time to weatherize your home before the heat is blasting in (and probably escaping out of) your home. Did you know that the amount of heat escaping through cracks in the average house is equivalent to having an open window year round? Inadequate insulation and air leakage are the leading causes of energy waste in homes. Cut down on the chilly drafts, reduce your heating bills, and slash your overall home energy use this winter with the following tips:

  •  Get an energy audit. Make an appointment for an energy rater, as they’re also called, to come to your home and assess its energy performance and recommend a solution. You can find energy raters through the Residential Energy Services Network or from Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Do a walk-through of your home and look for cracks, holes, leaks, and drafty areas. Make sure to check around windows and doors, electrical outlets, heating vents, fireplaces, baseboards, and attic spaces. Apply weather-stripping around drafty doorjambs and windowsills, and use sealant or caulking to fill in the cracks in ceilings and floors. Weather stripping can be purchased at most major retail stores and comes in vinyl, spring metal or adhesive-backed varieties. An expanding foam sealant is best for large cracks, while caulk works better on small holes and gaps. The Energy Department also has tips on performing this DIY energy audit.
  • Inspect your heating system. Chances are your heater has some faulty ducts, so you’re losing a large percentage of your heat. Check the furnace filters and replace them as needed. Have a professional check and clean the system once a year.
  • Drain Your Outside Water Pipes. Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.
  • Check the fireplace. If you have a fireplace, make sure you plug the flue when it’s not in use.
  • Seal the windows. Install storm windows if you’re able; if not, you can purchase plastic sheeting which is taped to the window and then shrunk with a hair dryer, creating a tight seal around the window and essentially “shrink-wrapping” it.
  • Make sure you have proper insulation. Many older homes do not have sufficient insulation. To check for insulation in your walls, make a small hole in an unobtrusive place (perhaps in a closet) to see what the wall cavity is filled with. Also look for uneven levels or gaps in your attic insulation. Anything less than 6 inches of insulation won’t be effective in combating drafts and keeping the temperature of your home constant. A thermographic scan will give you a complete read-out of your wall’s insulation.
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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.

How to Budget For Your Window Replacement Project

Replacing windows throughout a home can be a big investment. But it’s an investment with great payback.

Here are some basic guidelines for average-sized windows in an average home.

  • You should establish your budget even before beginning your project. EnergyGuard Windows and Doors can give you a free ballpark estimate on how much it might cost to replace your windows. It’s hard to provide an accurate cost range as a house can vary greatly in the number and size of its windows.
  • Expect to pay an average of $500-$800 per window for replacements placed inside structurally sound window frames. It could go as high as $1,000 per window depending on the frame material and glass options. Double- and triple-glazed windows, or those filled with argon gas, increase energy savings but bump the cost to the higher end of the scale.
  • If an existing window frame is rotted or damaged in any way, the frame must be rebuilt. This can increase the cost and necessitate the use of new construction windows.

Other budgeting considerations:

  • Make decisions based on value and quality
  • Think about having the work done in stages to spread out the financial impact

Years of Great Payback
High-quality, energy-efficient replacement windows are annually demonstrated to be an excellent investment (Reduce energy consumption, drafts, improve natural light, etc.).

Today’s energy-efficient windows and patio doors also can:

  • Reduce energy consumption.
  • Reduce drafts and make your home more comfortable.
  • Improve natural light and reduce glare.
  • Help you take advantage of solar heat gain in cold climates or minimize it in hot climates.
  • Provide years of easy operation and weather-tight seals.
  • Drastically minimize care and maintenance (particularly if the windows are made of vinyl or aluminum, or have fiberglass exteriors).
  • Reduce noise.
  • Reduce window condensation.
  • Protect draperies, carpets and upholstery from fading or discoloring.

 

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.

3 Do-it-yourself Window Replacement Tips

Money is still pretty tight for most families and a good deal of the monthly budget seems to end up in the pockets of the utility companies. It’s seems that the less you make every month, the more they seem intent on driving up their prices. What people may not understand is that the way their home is configured is what could actually be contributing to the amount that they pay. Old windows and doors can allow air from outside to creep in, making it harder for the heating or AC to keep up with the job of keeping the interior temperature comfortable.

One way to save on those bills is to make the switch to energy efficient windows and doors so that your heating and cooling units don’t have to work overtime to maintain the temperature. Double glazed windows are excellent at keeping air and city sounds out where they belong and they also add value to the home should you ever decide it’s time to move on.

The problem that many folks face is the initial cost of the replacement windows and installation, but if you are one of those types who is pretty handy, then you may be able to tackle some of the job on your own.

This is especially true if it’s a straight switch in windows and there is no extra construction to be done. At EnergyGuard Windows & Doors, we offer many do it yourself window replacement tips that will help you get the job down quickly and efficiently.

Here are 3 window replacement tips to get you started:

  1. No tip may be as important as making sure that you get the measurements exactly correct. Even being off by less than an inch can mean gaps that will end up leading to the problems that had you going with a window and door replacement in the first place.
  2. Once you have the measurements down pat, you will want to be sure to visit a reputable dealer in windows and doors to be sure that you get replacements that will stand the test of time. (We might just know where you can go for this…)
  3. You are also going to have to decide if the trim that is around your existing windows is reusable, and if not, then that’s another good reason to visit a good dealer as they can help match you up with the trim that best suits your new windows. You may also be able to work out a deal where you can get a great set of replacement windows with installation included in the final price, and all within your budget.

If you do decide to go it alone with your window replacement project, then help is just a phone call away. We will be able to tell you exactly what tools that you need to complete the project and we will always be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the job.

 

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.
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How window replacement can actually save you money

Save Money with window replacementMost people can look at their home with a critical eye and see the areas that need to be improved upon. Problem is, the eyes can often fool us into glossing over the windows and doors, both of which may need a complete overhaul for a number of different reasons.

One of the major reasons that forces people to look at window replacement is the rising cost of utilities. It’s not uncommon for the windows and doors in an older home to start developing gaps and leaks that cause the heating or AC to work a little harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home. That in turn leads to the bills starting to creep up to the point where that brown envelope every month is dreaded more than the month before.

Window replacement can help bring those bills down to a level where brown becomes the new white and the cost of replacing the doors and windows is made back in no time at all.

By adding a little “pizzazz” to your home with some great looking windows and doors, you can add curb appeal and value to your home as well. This is especially true if you go with energy efficient windows and doors, both of which are a great selling point when it comes time to put your home on the market.

If you spend more time looking through your windows than actually looking at them, then it might be time to switch that around and see if they can be improved. You might be surprised to learn that it’s not as expensive as you might have imagined, and that by looking out of your beautiful new replacement windows, you may just see the outside world in a brand new light.

 

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.

Milgard & EnergyGuard Windows Best Choice for Portland Window Replacement

When you decide it’s time for replacement windows for your home, you have a lot of options in brands, styles, and energy-efficient features. However, if you want the best windows for your Portland Metro home, consider the features offered by Milgard windows and for installation choose Five Star Dealer, EnergyGuard Windows & Doors!

Watch this video to hear homeowners talk about why choosing Milgard & EnergyGuard are the perfect choice for your new windows.

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EnergyGuard has over 30+ years experience in window installation. Call the Installation experts at EnergyGuard for a Free in home consultation today at 503-554-5500 or submit our online consultation request.