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Sat, Dec. 07

Energy-efficient windows in Habitat houses lower heating, cooling costs

Jason Soifer/The Daily Courier<br>Doug Painter, line leader at MI Windows and Doors in Prescott Valley, assembles a new MI EnergyCore energy-efficient window.

Jason Soifer/The Daily Courier<br>Doug Painter, line leader at MI Windows and Doors in Prescott Valley, assembles a new MI EnergyCore energy-efficient window.

Rebecca Richardson has a new outlook on life.

Richardson, 58, is inching closer to moving into the new home the Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity is building for her in Prescott Valley.

"It's freedom for me," she said. "It's just going to improve my life incredibly."

Richardson began the journey to getting a home through the nonprofit five years ago, and it means a lot to her because it allows her to get out of the one-bedroom subsidized apartment she is living in and into a new 1,000-square-foot energy-efficient home of her own.

"Having a house that's energy-efficient is going to make it affordable for me to heat and cool it," she said.

That's an important angle for Habitat for Humanity.

Miriam Haubrich, executive director of the nonprofit, said the homes they build are Energy Star homes.

Part of what makes them energy-efficient is the windows they get from MI Windows and Doors in town.

Haubrich said the manufacturer began providing windows to Habitat homes about seven years ago.

That was the opening to a strong relationship that has the manufacturer, which now provides windows and installs them in all of the nonprofit's home construction sites.

Employees with the manufacturer installed their new MI Energy Core windows in Richardson's future home, and Haubrich is impressed with them.

"The launch of the new triple-pane energy core windows - it's pretty fabulous," she said.

Haubrich said habitat began emphasizing energy efficiency in their homes years ago.

And that's key because Haubrich said it's one of the few costs they can control as lot and material costs increase.

"We want to maintain the affordability for years to come in our homes, and that's why they are Energy Star," she said. "By having this newest window, it will help considerably to maintain it as being affordable because the utility bills are going to be down."

The window design emphasizes energy efficiency and high performance and is made from a combination of patented AirCell plastic frame technology, insulating glass and internal aluminum reinforcements at the lock rails for additional security.

The window exceeds Energy Star requirement by 30 to 50 percent and meets the Department of Energy's requirements for R-5 high performance window program, according to the manufacturer's website.

Patrick Schutte, business development consultant for MI Windows and Doors, said this is the third generation of the windows with this new technology.

The windows are made with 20 percent recycled products, and they are 100 percent recyclable, according to Schutte.

The windows come with a crank that makes it easy to open for Richardson.

"I think it's going to make all the difference in the world to have those windows," she said.

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