According to the U.S. Department of Energy, windows lose about 30% of a home's heating energy. However, with the appropriate windows and ongoing maintenance, you can lessen air leakage, cut down on needless heating and cooling, and reduce your electricity costs.
Although upgrading to energy-efficient windows may seem pricey, they can end up paying for themselves when it comes to your heating and cooling costs. Choosing the right energy-efficient windows for your home can be difficult, but we are here to guide you through it.
Types Of Energy-Efficient Windows
Numerous design elements and technological advancements increase a window's energy efficiency while enhancing its sturdiness, beauty, and usability. When choosing new windows, consider their features as they will impact the window's overall energy efficiency. Here are types of energy-efficient window features:
- Gas fills and spacers
- Glazing or glass such as low-emissivity coatings, insulation, and spectrally selective coatings
- Operating types such as awning, hoppers, single or double slide, and fixed panes
- Frames and sashes such as aluminum or metal frames, composite frames, fiberglass frames, and wood frames
What Makes a Window Energy Efficient?
Here are the qualities that make a widow energy efficient:
- High-quality frame materials - Different long-lasting, low-maintenance structural materials lessen heat transfer and improve insulation. Fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum, wood, composite, or a combination of materials could all be used as framing materials.
- Warm-edge spacers - A spacer maintains the proper separation between the glass panes in a window. In addition to insulating the pane edges, non-metallic and metal/non-metallic hybrid spacers help lessen heat transfer through the window.
- Multiple panes - A single pane of glass does not insulate as well as two panes of glass with a space in the middle filled with air or gas. Three or more panes are used in some ENERGY STAR-rated windows for even higher energy efficiency, improved impact resistance, and sound insulation.
- Energy-efficient low-E glass - This glass was developed to reduce the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light coming into your home without minimizing the amount of light entering your home.
- Gas fills - Argon, krypton, or other gasses are between the panes of some energy-efficient windows. These colorless, non-toxic, and odorless gasses insulate more effectively than conventional air.
How to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows in 4 Steps
There are four important guidelines to consider when selecting energy-efficient windows for your home.
- Window energy performance ratings
Window energy performance ratings measure a window's energy efficiency. The rating system shows the quantity of light transmitted through the window and how much air leaks through the window. Knowing the energy performance rating can help determine what your home utility bill will be when changing new windows.
The actual pane of glass is only one-half of the energy problem. Frames play an essential role, too. There are all manners and varieties of frames to choose from, and the type suitable for you will balance aesthetic, price, and energy efficiency. Here at Dream Doors and Windows, our warranty covers the first 10 years after a window installation. If something happens to your frame, we will fix it for you, free of charge.
Take wood as an example; wooden frames are lauded as the best insulators. This eco-friendly option protects against excessive heat transfer — precisely what you should be looking for. That said, they can also be damaged by the weather.
The type, thickness, and glass style in your window contribute to energy efficiency. Allowing solar rays to leave your home and reducing the conductivity of your glass can impact the comfort of your home and the heating and cooling costs. Factors that influence the energy efficiency of window glass are:
- Number of windowpanes
- Insulating glass
- Solar window film
- Energy-efficient low-E glass
- Professional window installation
The building and parts of a window aren't all that matters, and proper installation is also essential. Even the most energy-efficient window can lose its effectiveness if installed wrong. Professional window installation can help ensure that your energy-saving window performs as expected.
Looking for energy-efficient bay windows, casement windows, or sliding windows? Visit our showroom today and we can help you control the temperature in your home, as well as cut down drastically on your heating and cooling costs.