An air conditioner and furnace are the best ways to make your home feel comfortable all year round, since they combat the heat of summer and freezing temperatures of winter. However, as energy costs rise, these two appliances can easily cause your monthly expenses to skyrocket unexpectedly. Thankfully, there are ways to lower your energy cost that don't involve changing the temperature on your thermostat. Here are two ways that you can do it with the glass windows in your home.

Double Pane Glass

Windows have a bad reputation for letting heat escape your home in the winter. When you compare a single pane glass window to an insulated wall, the glass window will let 10 times more heat escape your home. While it is not practical to completely eliminate having windows in your home, you can improve the windows that are there.

Double pane glass does a much more efficient job when it comes to providing insulation. As the name implies, the windows use two layers of glass to provide better insulation, but it also has argon gas between the panes to assist as well. When compared to single pane glass, it will reduce the energy that you use by 24% in the winter. In the summer, it will reduce air conditioner usage by 18%.

These double pane glass windows may cost a bit more money when having them installed, but you will see the savings in the form of lower energy bills for years to come.

Window Treatments

If you cannot afford to have new windows installed in your home, there are more cost effective solutions that you can use, such as upgrading the window treatments in your home.

Consider purchasing thick curtains to help you keep the warm air where you want it. Pulling them closed during the day will prevent the sun from heating the inside of your home when you are not there, and you can open them in the evening when your home is out of direct sunlight. In the winter, keeping curtains closed will act as an additional layer of insulation that will prevent the heat from making its way out of your home.

Even utilizing your blinds with energy efficiency in mind will make an impact on how much solar radiation is allowed into your home. Just make sure to utilize them at the proper times, just like you would with curtains, instead of only depending on them to provide privacy.

For more information about windows, including an upgrade to double pane glass, speak with a contractor in your area.