At presstime, the price of oil continues to move in an upward trajectory as more evidence trickles in that the economic outlook is improving—albeit slightly. And everyone knows what that means: With each price jump, it gets more expensive for homeowners to heat and cool their houses. Fuel costs have been increasing steadily since the global economic collapse drove crude oil prices down to $36.51 per barrel on Jan. 16, 2009.

This is partly why the country is in conservation mode, and if President Obama has his way, it will become even more important in the coming years.

The president already showed his commitment to energy efficiency when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, legislation that includes a provision for homeowners to receive a tax credit of up to $1,500 for energy-efficient replacement windows and doors, among other improvements. In addition, newer, more stringent Energy Star guidelines for windows and doors will take effect in January 2010.

This special section on Windows and Doors (and related items such as hardware) features products that are designed with energy efficiency in mind. It includes high-performance windows and doors that are at least Energy Star rated or eligible for the stimulus bill tax credit. It also includes windows and doors that exceed the bill’s requirement that eligible products have a U-factor rating of .30 and a solar heat gain coefficient rating of .30.

There are products here to fit any architectural style and almost any budget. Take a look for yourself, then go forth and help your buyers save energy—and money.

Open Wide: This folding glass wall system creates large openings from 6 feet to 320 feet, and a variety of the systems and glazings offered will meet Energy Star requirements. Available with an aluminum-frame with a powder-coated finish or a wood-frame with water-based finishes, the versatile system can be ordered in various configurations, including this window/door combination. NanaWall Systems. 800-873-5673.

Long Story: Using a new process the manufacturer calls “long-fiber injection” and made with polyurethane rather than polyester, this fiberglass door can withstand extreme abuse, including being hit with lumber traveling in excess of 35 miles per hour. The durable and energy-efficient door is available in three lines and 16 designs including smooth surface and woodgrain options. Jeld-Wen. 800-877-9482.

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