Category: Windows

Don’t Get Caught With the Wrong Window Frames

Replacement windows can add to the energy efficiency of your home and ensure that your interior living spaces receive adequate light. Most homeowners focus in on the type of glass that will be included in their replacement windows while failing to give enough attention to the selection of the right window frames.

The frames that surround each of the windows in your home serve several important purposes. Window frames offer structure that creates an aesthetic appearance. Since modern windows can be much heavier than their predecessors, frames offer the support needed to keep replacement windows anchored. Frames also serve as a connection point between your home and your replacement windows.

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How to Inspect an Aging Window


When your windows approach the 20-year mark, you should start keeping a closer eye on them for signs that they need replacement. That is not to say your windows won’t last longer than this — many do. However, inspecting them every year or so ensures that signs of wear and damage do not go unnoticed. The following are the five primary questions you should answer when inspecting an aging window.

1. How Many Panes of Glass Does the Window Have?

Look closely at the window, and assess whether each sash has one or two panes of glass. In places like Wisconsin where winters are cold, double-pane windows are now considered standard. However, some older homes still have single-pane windows.

Single-pane windows are much less energy-efficient than double-pane windows. Heat travels very easily through a single pane of glass. Even if your single-pane windows are in decent shape, you may want to have them replaced with double-pane windows. Doing so could save you hundreds of dollars per year on energy.

2. Can You See Condensation Between the Glass?

A little moisture on the inside of a window is not abnormal, especially after a period of high humidity. But if you go to wipe the moisture away and realize it is trapped inside your double-pane glass, you have a problem. Condensation can only form between the glass once a double-pane window’s seals break and the window starts leaking. A leaky window is an inefficient window.

If the window is otherwise in good shape, you may be able to have the leaky glass pane replaced. However, condensation and leaks are usually due to deteriorating window sash material, which makes replacing the window the smarter choice.

3. Can You See Mold or Rot on the Sash or Frame?

With older wooden windows, rotting sashes and frames are the primary concern. Look closely at each sash and frame, making note of any areas where the wood appears chipped, soft, or discolored.

Even if the window is still stable in the moldy or rotten frame, mold presents a health hazard. Plus, mold and rot indicate that moisture is entering through the windows. Fail to replace such windows, and you could end up with water damage to the floor and walls before long.

4. Does the Window Pass the Incense Test?

Air leaks can occur without causing condensation buildup and without distinct mold or rot. The incense test is an easy way to assess whether a window is leaking.

Start by closing all doors and windows in your home. Also, turn off the heat and any fans to ensure there is as little air movement inside the home as possible. Light a stick of incense, and slowly pass it along the borders of your window glass. If the streak of smoke coming from the incense waivers, you have a leak.

5. Does the Window Open, Close, and Lock Easily?

Sometimes a window may look fine, but when you try to operate it, you realize that it does not open, close, or lock properly. If you cannot get a window to close properly, not only will it leak, but it will also present a security risk.

If your windows are newer or are in otherwise good condition, they may just need a few adjustments, lubrication, or a simple repair to get them functioning well again. However, with older windows, poor operation is often a sign of deterioration or warping of the sash material.

If the results of your window inspection suggest your windows are on their last legs, contact Pella. We offer wood, fiberglass, and vinyl windows that will save you energy and look great in your home.

Unusual Window Styles to Use in Your Home

Windows do more than let light into your room, though that’s certainly an important function. The shape and style of the windows also affects the appearance of both the façade and your interior rooms. You may be well-acquainted with standard styles, such as double-hung and casement windows. However, other window configurations can help set your house apart.

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The warehouse at Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin recently participated in a Kaizen initiative to improve current facility practices for organization and damage prevention. Kaizen, which means making something better in Japanese, is a continuous improvement program for all company processes.

Earlier this year, Pella corporate facilitated the Kaizen event here in Green Bay, WI. The weeklong event was created to reduce product damage throughout the company, from shipping the products directly from Pella, Iowa, to facilities in Wisconsin, and later to the customer. Although Pella currently operates with low damage rates, there are continuous efforts to improve overall customer satisfaction to lessen potential dissatisfiers. For this improvement effort, a four-person crew was tasked with making the changes in the warehouse over a span of only one month.

The Kaizen crew first analyzed how they were receiving parts in Green Bay from corporate to determine where the damage was occurring, whether it was due to the packaging, caused in transit, or by storage practices at the facility. The packaging made it difficult to detect minor damage until the products were unpackaged at the customer project site, proving problematic for installation schedules and timelines. At the Green Bay facility, the task team reviewed how products were handled and stored once delivered, and Pella corporate explored options for improving their packaging. The result was the development of a new racking system to store and protect products. Dedicated areas were created to store specific products in select bins with dividers to prevent the windows and doors from tipping, slipping, or being stacked on one another.

Since implementing the new practices, a Kaizen 30-60-90-120 day follow up procedure was set into place to review and analyze the changes made, ensuring that progress was made. Overall, the desired results were achieved for continuous improvement, and the new methods added an extra level of structure and confidence to daily tasks at the Green Bay facility.

At Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin we have a commitment to continuous improvement, to Kaizen, and to providing the best products and services for our customers.

 

-Stephanie Krubsack

When you buy windows, it’s easy to spend a lot of time thinking about the style and the look of the window without giving much thought to the type of glass. The type of glass you choose for your windows can have a significant impact on your satisfaction with your windows as well as your home’s energy efficiency. Knowing the differences between the most popular types of glass on the market can help you pick the right window glass for your needs.  

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Wouldn’t it be great to save between 5-30% on your monthly energy bill ? You may feel an opportunity like this is unrealistic, but it’s actually much simpler than you think.

As a homeowner, you probably have heard of home energy audits and how they help determine the amount and frequency of which your home uses energy. A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, can help you understand your home’s energy consumption, and how excessive energy use can be corrected to make your home more efficient.

Why Should You Have a Home Energy Audit?

Have you experienced an unexplained spike in your heating bill lately, or noticed that no matter how high you set your thermostat, it feels like heat is escaping? A home energy assessment can help identify issues that may be negatively affecting the performance, efficiency, and comfort of your home, including:

  • Drafty rooms
  • Continuously running heating & cooling systems
  • Dry indoor air during colder months

Not only is an energy audit helpful in diagnosing energy inefficiencies in your home, it can also pinpoint areas where a bit of home improvement could help save you money in the long run.

Energy Audits Provide Comfort Without the Cost

Midwest winters can be chilly, and any Wisconsin resident would agree that heating bills are quick to rise as temperatures continue to drop. A home energy audit can offer ways to prevent heat from escaping your home, and can also provide you with tips on how you can save more by consuming less energy throughout the year.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell your house in coming months or are trying to find ways to make simple home improvements on a budget, a comprehensive energy audit may help you succeed. When conducting a home energy assessment, an auditor can identify areas in your home where a bit of home improvement can help to:

  • Improve ventilation
  • Promote indoor air quality
  • Reduce interior drafts

Simple home improvements may save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills. For example, installing additional insulation in drafty areas of your home, like the attic or basement can save you between 10%-30% annually on heating and cooling costs.

In older homes especially, insufficient insulation and unsealed doorways can cause drafts in your home. You may notice that one room of your home feels significantly warmer than others, while other areas are downright cold. An energy assessment can help address the cause of temperature variances, such as inadequate insulation or drafty windows, and provide a report with home improvement solutions that can help add comfort to your home.

Schedule Your Home Energy Assessment Today

Are you ready to improve the energy efficiency of your home, all while saving a few extra dollars.

As energy costs rise, the renewable resource program continues to work with residents and businesses to put energy-saving plans into action. The program works with local energy audit companies to offer improvement suggestions and cash incentive opportunities.

Focus on Energy also offers whole-home improvements and heating and cooling assessments for low-income families. For qualification information or to apply, click here.

For more information on scheduling your home energy audit, call (800) 762-7077.

Save Money with ENERGY STAR® Replacement Windows and Doors

ENERGY STAR® is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that rates and promotes various appliances, equipment, and electronics with exceptional energy efficiency in order to help people and businesses save money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To promote the efficiency of your home, Pella products have energy efficient options to be ENERGY STAR® certified. This means our products can help save your home energy while still offering the features you’re looking for. Our windows and doors are designed to withstand the elements outside while keeping your home cozy on the inside.

One of the families who received a home.

David Belman, owner of Belman Homes in Waukesha, Wisconsin, understands the value of hard work and dedication. As a kid, Belman’s father instilled those values in him.

“When I was really little, probably about nine years old,” Belman recalls. “My dad took me to a job site, gave me a broom and a shovel, and said, ‘Start at the top and work your way to the bottom. I’ll be back in a few hours.’”

As hard as he’s worked throughout his life, Belman has been blown away by the dedication and bravery of U.S. military veterans.

That’s why Belman Homes became the first Wisconsin builder to commit to working with an organization called Operation Finally Home, which builds mortgage-free houses for injured or fallen veterans and their families.

It all started when one of Belman’s suppliers invited him to a concert during the International Builders Association show. It turned out to be a benefit concert for Operation Finally Home. During the event, a video was shown telling the story of Army Sergeant Stephen Jackel.

While serving in Afghanistan in 2011, Jackel’s vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED), flipping the vehicle and crushing his legs.

“They had munitions in the vehicle and they were on fire,” Belman explains. “There were others in the vehicle, and it was going to blow up. So he used his mangled legs to put out the munitions and saved his whole battalion.”

Jackel’s legs were amputated, and he had other serious injuries. The soldier returned home where he had a family with six children to care for.

Belman learned how Operation Finally Home gives veterans like Jackel much needed help by providing a home their families can live in for free, relieving them from the burden of mortgage payments. Belman knew he wanted his company to become involved with the organization, but at the time Operation Finally Home was mostly operating in the southern U.S.

Not long after, during a Wisconsin Builders Association meeting, Belman heard the Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) was interested in doing a housing study and working with Operation Finally Home.

“I volunteered right away,” Belman says. “We were the first builder to commit to working with Operation Finally Home in Wisconsin, and we’re nearly done with it.”

Meet the Wisconsin Veterans Getting New Homes

Army Sgt. Drew Wroblewski and Army Spc. Bo Kitelinger with their families.

In early June, two families of injured U.S. veterans will move into brand new homes in the village of Jackson, Wisconsin.

Belman Homes built a house for Army Specialist Robert “Bo” Kitelinger, and another Milwaukee area builder, Tim O’Brien Homes, built one right next door for Army Sergeant Drew Wroblewski.

Both Kitelinger and Wroblewski are Purple Heart recipients who are now dealing with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after sustaining injuries during IED attacks in Iraq.

What stands out about the stories of both men is not only the fact they re-enlisted and continued serving as long as they could, but that they are working to overcome the struggles of re-adjusting to civilian life so they can make a difference in the world.

Belman says the builders are involved in selecting the families who receive homes and that Operation Finally Home purposefully seeks out veterans who are not only the most in need, but the most admirable.

“The cool thing about Operation Finally Home is that they find really deserving people,” he says. “They say they find families who want a hand up not a handout.”

In Bo Kitelinger’s case, he sought help for his PTSD while applying to colleges around the country that were located near VA clinics. Kitelinger has been attending Marquette University and plans to move on to medical school so he can eventually practice sports medicine. Meanwhile, he’s been volunteering to shadow physicians at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Belman says Kitelinger is also closely involved with a veterans’ support group at Marquette and referees for youth soccer games. When Belman met Bo Kitelinger and his family, he was impressed by their attitudes, which made the process of building a home for them even more inspiring.

“The stories are heartbreaking and hard to read sometimes, Belman says. “Then to meet them in person, and see their great outlook, and surprise them when you tell them they’re getting a home, the whole process is a really cool thing.”

Army Spc. Bo Kitelinger and family at the Milwaukee Bucks game.

The Milwaukee Bucks assisted Operation Finally Home in delivering that surprise to the Kitelinger family. Belman says they were able to announce the news at center court during halftime of a game last season.

“Not only did we honor them and have a video about their service,” Belman says. “But we were able to surprise them and say, ‘By the way you are the recipient of a brand new home from Operation Finally Home!’ It was really neat. I’ll always remember that day.”

Building a Home Fit for a Hero

Belman says he’s enjoyed every part of this experience. During the process of building the Kitelinger’s home, the many suppliers and vendors who supported the project came to write messages to Bo and his family on the frame and walls. Neighbors in the local community also got involved, including local school children.

“When Kimberly (Bo’s Wife) came in the house and saw the notes from the kids, it was just very emotional, and you could feel the love in the house,” Belman remembers.

When Bo, his wife and their three children move into their new house, they’ll find a home custom built for them.

It’s a four-bedroom ranch with around 2,500 square feet when you included the finished basement with a rec room. There’s even a special wall in the basement for the Kitelinger’s son who is a big soccer fan.

“There’s going to be a scene painted on the wall with a net so he can practice kicking goals,” Belman says. “One daughter said on TV that she wanted a pink bedroom, so we did that for her, too.”

Belman Homes also kept Bo Kitelinger’s needs, challenges, and comfort in mind.

Notes of Love Event.

“He does have severe PTSD and traumatic brain injury, so we’ve got a room set up that’s dark and insulated so it’s quiet and he can rest.”

It’s quite apparent that David Belman is proud of the home his company built, and he’s excited for the Kitelingers to make it their home.

“Our home is a completely hand-built stick-frame home. We didn’t even use trusses, they’re all roof rafters. So it was literally built stick-by-stick, and it’s a super high-quality home for them,” he says. “To try and keep the finished product a little bit of a surprise, we haven’t let them in there for the past two months. So it will be a nice touch for them to go in there and see it all done.”

The big day is June 4, 2016. There will be a celebration in Jackson, including a parade that ends at the two houses. Then the keys will be handed over to the Kitelinger and Wroblewski families.

Belman says this won’t be the last time his company works with Operation Finally Home. Plans are already in the works to help another veteran with a mortgage-free home in Wisconsin.

Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin is already on board and plans to donate all the windows for the next project.

“When we were approached with the opportunity to contribute to such an inspirational cause, we jumped at the chance,” says Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin owner, John Calawerts. “Pella has a tradition of supporting our military veterans, and it’s great to see projects like this taking place in Wisconsin that we can be part of.”

Belman says he is deeply thankful for the donations and support he’s received from industry partners so far.

“When we decided to do this project, I wasn’t sure what kind of support I would get from the trades. But I didn’t have to ask very hard. Most people came to me and said, ‘We’re in we’ll help you.’”

More About Belman Homes

David Belman is a second generation home builder, and Belman Homes also operates as a land developer and real estate company. Belman Homes specializes in hand-built, stick-frame homes including custom cabinetry and woodwork, which gets finished on site.

“Even though I’m a younger builder, we still do things the old fashioned way with how it’s put together,” Belman explains. “I think that gives us a high level of quality.”

But not everything about Belman Homes is old fashioned. The company uses technology to create an exceptional customer service experience.

“We’ve invested in software so we can help our customers online. They can check the progress of their home, and we’ve got all their documents online. They can log in years later and double check their paint color or look up something on their house. We’ve got it all stored for them.”

Belman is serving as the president of the Metropolitan Builders Association, following in his father Don Belman’s footsteps.

“My father was president in 1995, and we’re the first father-son presidents of the MBA. So that was a neat thing to be able to share,” David Belman says.

Soon the younger Belman will move on to a new role supporting the industry. He is president-elect for the Wisconsin Builders Association. During his time in that position, Belman says he plans to work with the next generation of home builders in the state.

“There are a lot of builders who aren’t aware of the work we do on the statewide level,” Belman says. So one of my goals is to get more engagement with the younger, up-and-coming builders.”

Find out More Online:

Watch a Video About Operation Finally Home

We all know that the weather in Northeastern Wisconsin can be a little unpredictable. One day the sun might be shining, and the next day it might be raining. And in the winter months, we could go from sun, to rain, to snow in a 24-hour period.

Because the weather is so unpredictable in Wisconsin, Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin partnered with WFRV/CBS Local 5 to sponsor its new Storm Team 5 Sky View Network.

Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin General Manager Gina Della.

 

“This is something that we’re extremely excited about being able to do,” General Manager Gina Della from Pella Windows & Doors says. “It allows us to spread awareness about our company and at the same time, help people stay on top of what’s going on with the weather when they follow Local 5.”

The system is now live, check it out online here: Sky View Network.

State of the Art Technology

The Storm Team 5 Sky View Network System powered By Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin features state-of-the art technology with five different high definition cameras installed at different locations throughout northeastern Wisconsin.

Those locations include Manitowoc, Sturgeon Bay, Oshkosh, Appleton, and Green Bay.

Each camera has the ability to give almost an entire 360-degree view from ground level to high up in the sky, and has an optical zoom up to 20x with full 30 fps (frames per second) in HD. It also has enhanced day and night video quality for broadcast and online.

Since the cameras are so technologically advanced, they are also very versatile. Not only can WFRV’s meteorologists easily track the weather during newscasts, but they can also showcase area buildings and skylines, focus on natural attractions, and report on any breaking news on events near the camera locations.

“This is a very high-end camera system that allows us to advance the way that we track the weather and even report the news across this large geographic area of northeastern Wisconsin,” WFRV/CBS Local 5 VP/General Manager Mike Smith says. “It’s the best of its kind in the area!”

All Access, All the Time

The most unique feature about the Storm Team 5 Sky View Network System powered by Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin is the fact that people can access the views of the five cameras at any given time by visiting WFRV’s website.

Viewers don’t have to always be tuned into the news to see what’s going on with the weather through the system.

WFRV/CBS Local 5 VP/General Manager Mike Smith.

“This system is very flexible for anyone interested in the weather,” Smith explains. “Especially if there’s bad weather. All you have to do is open up your web browser on your tablet or smartphone, look us up, and you can see what’s going on. It’s great.”

In addition to being available on WFRV’s website, the weather camera system will also be used at various times on social media like Facebook Live when there might be a storm to track.

“We love how we can connect with our customers on Facebook and other social media channels,” Della explains. “ Plus, we can help them keep track of the weather like Mike said.”

Learn More About WFRV/CBS Local 5 and Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin

WFRV Local 5 is a CBS-affiliated television station that is owned by Nexstar Media Group. Located on East Mason Street in Green Bay, WI, the station has been in operation since 1955. When asked about the sponsorship, the team from WFRV was also excited.

“This is a partnership that we’re tremendously excited about,” Mike Smith said. “Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin is an industry leader who really stepped up to work with us to bring real value to the people of northeastern Wisconsin. It just made sense to work together, and we couldn’t be happier about it.”

To learn more about WFRV Local 5, visit their website. To access the weather camera system directly, visit the Sky View Network.

If you’re interested in learning more Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin, visit our main webpage. We have the flexibility to customize windows and doors for practically any application. So, make sure to visit our website or call us today at 800-242-1008.

About The Author

As the Marketing Coordinator at Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin, Carla Lee’s main goal is to share the Pella story.

On a daily basis, Carla works on various marketing and advertising projects that communicate how our company continually strives to make a positive difference in our customers’ lives. We do this by delivering innovative products and services, which bring comfort, pride and peace of mind. What we do is more than just about the products we create, it’s about serving our customers to the best of our ability.

Carla has diverse marketing background that includes working for both non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.  In 2016, she earned her MBA from Concordia University and prior to working at Pella, she was a content manager in the Ecommerce Industry. When she’s not working, you can find her hanging out at home with her husband and son, building snowmen in the backyard!

If keeping your house warm during the winter wasn’t hard enough, keeping it cool and comfortable during the summer can be even more difficult. We have some well-known tips (as well as some not-so-well-known) to help keep you from getting burned on your utility bills this summer.

Before we get into the tips, you should first assess your utility bills and conduct a home energy audit to identify how and where your house is losing energy. What energy source do you use most of and how do your winter heating and electric bills compare to the previous summer? If you don’t know where to start, the U.S. Department of Energy has some tips on ways to best assess your home’s energy use.

Heating and cooling your spaces account for about half of an average home’s energy costs; your water heater pitches in another 18 percent.

The reality is, you have the most to gain (and lose) over the long-term if your home isn’t optimized to keep you cool. This isn’t just hot air.

study from the National Association of Home Builders found that “Home buyers report being willing to pay an additional average of $7,095 in the up-front price of a home if that saved them $1,000 annually in utility costs.”

Conducting an energy assessment will help put you on the proper path when you want to replace your windows to keep your home cool.

1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate (and Seal)

Insulation is important in the summer too. Adding insulation to your home can be a cost-effective way to help keep your home’s interior cool during the summer and warm during the winter.

You can accomplish this with additional insulation (fiberglass, cellulose, etc.) in your attic. You can find some help on where to start through the federal government’s Home Energy Saver energy calculator. By entering your zip code and various facts about your home, it will help determine how much you could save by adding upgrades, like insulation, to your home.

It’s not a bad idea to add insulation to seal your ductwork, too.

2. Upgrade Your HVAC System, Appliances, Windows and Doors

It might cost you up front, but upgrading your old HVAC system, appliances and even your windows and doors to ENERGY STAR® certified products can help you save on your energy billsover the long-term.

Homeowners could expect to see as much as $101-$583 in yearly energy savings when replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows from Pella. That equates to a decrease of 1,006-6,250 pounds of carbon dioxide, or 51-317 gallons of gasoline per year.

In fact, Pella Corporation was named a 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year winner through its continued innovation of new ENERGY STAR certified products.

To start the research process, the ENERGY STAR website has plenty of information on all the products and appliances to help you choose.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency can help you save money when buying new products.

3. Clean HVAC Filters and A/C unit

Dirty filters block airflow and can cause your system to run for longer periods of time, and keep it from operating properly.

You might now be asking, “How frequently should I change the filter?” Well, there are some things you should consider first, as some filters are recommended to be replaced monthly; others as little as twice a year! You can often find the replacement recommendations on the side of your furnace filter. It’s a good rule of thumb to replace a filter every three months. But if your filter’s dirty, it’s best to just replace it.

Once you’re done cleaning or replacing the filter, turn to cleaning your outdoor air conditioner unit. Regular cleaning can help to minimize maintenance, and cools the air more efficiently. The best part is … it’s free!

4. Turn Down Water Heater Temperature/Turn Up Thermostat

Hot showers feel great when the temperatures start to drop. But a change of your habits and the turn of a dial can help you save money on both your energy and water bill.

Turning your water heater down may help you save you money each month. And, you could also save money by turning up your thermostat in the summer too.

5. Invest in Smart Home Technology or Alternative Energy Sources

Investing in smart home technology can give you a better idea of what your energy consumption is on a day-by-day basis and help you optimize its usage.

Smart thermostats are a good place to start. Having already established that turning your thermostat up while you’re away from home can save you on your energy costs, a smart thermostat does it for you, automatically.

Automatic, or smart thermostats, allow you to set your HVAC system to operate at your convenience. Many pair with home automation systems and your smartphone or tablet, giving you the power to control your home’s climate when you’re away.

6. Close Windows, Doors, Blinds, Shades and Drapes During Day, Open at Night

Similar to the tip of turning up your thermostat during the day to reduce energy costs, another tip is to close your windows, blinds/shades/drapes during the day.

It might seem counter-intuitive to close your windows, restricting fresh air from entering your home, but by shutting your home’s windows and their treatments during the hottest times of the day and turning your thermostat up (or off), it keeps the cool air inside your home and keeps the hot air out.

Then in the evening, when you get home from work, either open your windows to let the cool night air inside or turn your A/C back up.

Products, like Pella’s Insynctive™ technology, allow users to program the opening and drawing of blinds and shades, limiting the amount of sunlight that heats a home’s interior during different times of the day. Please note, in order to use this type of technology, it needs to be connected to a home automation system.

7. Use Fans to Circulate or Exhaust Air

Use the fans that you have in your home, be they ceiling, oscillating, floor or box fans, to help circulate or expel air from your home’s interior or attic.

Air conditioners cost a lot of money to operate, compared to ceiling fans, which come in at about five cents an hour.

Using whole house fans or solar-powered attic fans can help exhaust hot attic air from your home, thereby keeping it cooler.

8. Cook Outside vs. Inside

One of the best things about the summer months is spending time outside. So why spend time inside cooking on the stove or in the oven when you can do it outside? Grilling outside will help keep your home cooler.

Can’t cook outside? Using a microwave or toaster oven consumes far less energy and gives off little or no heat, compared to an oven or stove that will increase your home’s interior temperature.

Click here for some great summer recipe tips from Country Living.

9. Add Landscaping

Being smart about reducing your energy use inside your home can extend to your yard, specifically landscaping.

Do you have trees or shrubs that can shield your home from the sun?

Landscaping does more than just improve your home’s curb appeal. Landscaping can reduce your heating and cooling costs, too. It’s best to understand what your climate can support before you invest in your landscaping project, taking into consideration wind, shade and temperature.

10. Renovate Your Basement

The one place in your home that maintains the most consistent temperature throughout the year is your basement – if you have one.

Basements are almost always underground, or partially underground, which helps keep them cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter.

They can be used as a heat sink, circulating the cooler air through your house.

Because of its temperate air, it’s also a cool place (get it) to hang out. So maybe it’s time to start that basement finishing project you’ve been putting off for so long!

Don’t forget to give Pella Windows and Doors of Wisconsin a call for all of your windows and doors needs. Our committed team of experts will have the answers for all your home design questions.

Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin is proud to work with some of the best builders in the state.

Our partners are completing amazing homes for people in Wisconsin all the time. If you like looking at beautiful houses, we’ve got some that will make your jaw hit the floor.

Check out these eight projects from Wisconsin builders and architects that we found on Houzz.

1. Ellington Two-Story Home – Korndoerfer Homes

Korndoerfer Homes in Milwaukee has been building beautiful residences in Wisconsin since 1926. This model home is called the Ellington. It features a spacious layout with five bedrooms and a lookout lower level. Check it out!

Photos by Korndoerfer Homes

2. Cedarburg Farmhouse – Henderson Group

It’s amazing how a home can be transformed when you put it in the right hands. Just look at the before and after pictures detailing what the Henderson Group did to this old farmhouse in Cedarburg. It went from worn out and kind of creep to a country home that’s completely cozy. The wrap around porch is incredible!

Before

After

Photos by Henderson Group, Inc

3. Frank Lloyd Wright Style – Belman Homes

No other name in design and architecture is more recognizable than Frank Lloyd Wright, and it takes a talented builder to pull off his style. Belman Homes did a fantastic job calling on his muse when they created the Rockwood plan.

In addition to the eye-catching exterior, this model features a contemporary kitchen and graceful lines throughout the entryways.

Photos by Belman Homes

4. Karalyn House – Cypress Homes

This floor plan from Cypress Homes is ideal for family living. The Karalyn House is an open concept, split bedroom ranch. It boasts a spacious kitchen as well as a sun room and mud room.

Photos by Cypress Homes, Inc.

5. Rustic & Modern in Suamico – Wisconsin Log Homes

The folks at Wisconsin Log Homes effectively combined two looks in one with this charming project. It’s rustic – with large wooden beams on the ceilings. Yet modern – with trendy white trim and kitchen cabinets. Plus, Pella windows let natural light splash throughout the home!

Check out the rest of these project photos here.

6. Scray Hill Home – Gmack Development

This sprawling, country-inspired home from Gmack Development is located near De Pere, Wisconsin overlooks the city from atop a ledge. Arched windows add elegance to the exterior. Inside, you’ll find bright white cabinetry and out in the backyard is a large patio that’s perfect for entertaining.

Photos by Gmack Development, Inc

7. Waukesha County Lake House – Design Group Three

For this project involving Design Group Three, the original home was removed from the foundation for a complete rebuild. The result was a shingled, cottage-style home that’s perfect for lazy summer days by the lake.

We especially enjoy the loft as well as the view from the roof of the boathouse, which became an outdoor seating area.

Photos by Design Group Three 

8. River Pointe Two-Story – Dickinson Homes

Our last home on this list isn’t quite Wisconsin. It’s from Dickinson Homes in Iron Mountain, Michigan. But Pella Windows & Doors frequently works with builders in the Upper Peninsula as well. We even have a sales representative, Joe Dost, dedicated to that region.

This house is a classy, custom-designed, craftsman home featuring modular construction. One of the most stunning areas of the house is the two-story great room featuring a coffered ceiling, dark wood floors, and lots of natural light coming in through the windows.

Photos by Dickinson Homes 

Get More Great Ideas on Houzz!

If you enjoyed these photos and started getting some great ideas for your own projects, make sure you join Houzz! And, don’t forget to follow Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin.

Whether you’re building homes or living in them, constructing a new house, or remodeling your current residence, we hope you’ll turn to and trust Pella to help make it beautiful with our windows and doors.

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