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In­stalling en­ergy ef­fi­cient win­dows can help re­duce the cost of your monthly en­ergy bill by seal­ing in heat when it’s cold and cool air when it’s hot out­side. Re­ports have stated that re­plac­ing reg­u­lar pane win­dows with en­ergy ef­fi­cient win­dows can eas­ily save home­own­ers up to $500 each year. What’s more, en­ergy ef­fi­cient win­dows are good for the en­vi­ron­ment be­cause their in­stal­la­tion helps to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions as well.

So how can your win­dows make your home more en­ergy ef­fi­cient? Win­dows in homes were es­sen­tially built to mod­u­late the flow of heat; to pre­serve it in win­ter and ban­ish it in sum­mer. And tra­di­tional win­dows are built to

Even for home­own­ers that are al­ready do­ing their part to con­serve en­ergy, en­ergy ef­fi­cient win­dows are a smart de­ci­sion for bot­tom lines and for the en­vi­ron­ment. Here’s more

solely serve this pur­pose. They’re usu­ally en­case­ments with one pane or two panes of glass, and that’s pretty much it.

One study es­ti­mates that a sin­gle-pane win­dow al­lows 10 times as much heat to es­cape com­pared to the same area of in­su­lated wall. An­other re­ports that 1522% of a home’s heat es­capes through the win­dows.

En­ergy ef­fi­cient win­dows, on the other hand, are much more tech­ni­cally ad­vanced. They in­cor­po­rate var­i­ous types of dif­fer­ent glazes to keep the weather out­side from get­ting into your home.

Com­mon glaz­ing op­tions for en­ergy ef­fi­cient win­dows in­clude dou­ble clear, dou­ble tint and low-emit­tance coat­ings. Some man­u­fac­tur­ers also em­ploy dif­fer­ent types of so­lar re­sis­tant film within

the cas­ing to re­duce heat trans­fer.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while se­lect­ing the right kind of win­dows for your home: Win­dow Frames: The type of win­dow frames you use will have a great im­pact on the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of your win­dows. Frames may be made of sev­eral dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing alu­minum, fiber­glass, vinyl and wood. Alu­minum frames, though widely used in modern con­struc­tion, are the least en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

Win­dow Glasses: Low-E glass stands for low emis­siv­ity glass. It has a coat­ing that helps block out a sub­stan­tial por­tion of ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV) light and in­frared (IR) light, while al­low­ing the ma­jor­ity of vis­i­ble light to pass through. Con­trol­ling and block­ing IR light lessens the pas­sage of heat through your win­dow.

When it comes down to it, Low-E glass can help main­tain your home’s tem­per­a­ture, and in­crease en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. Low-E glass win­dows are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, es­pe­cially in hot cli­mates, be­cause they help to keep harm­ful UV light and heat out.

U-Fac­tor mea­sures the rate of heat flow through the win­dow. The lower the num­ber on the NFRC la­bel, the bet­ter the win­dow is at keep­ing heat in.

So­lar Heat Gain Co­ef­fi­cient (SHGC) tells you how much so­lar heat comes through the win­dow. The lower the num­ber, the less so­lar heat comes in. SHGC of below 0.40 is rec­om­mended for places with hot cli­mates.

Vis­i­ble Trans­mit­tance (VT) is how much nat­u­ral light the win­dow lets in dur­ing the day­time. The higher the num­ber, the more nat­u­ral light you’ll get. The rec­om­mended value for VT is 60 to 80 per­cent.

Multi-Pane Glass Win­dows: Us­ing dou­ble or triple pane glass win­dows can help you save en­ergy. Why? Be­cause be­tween each pane var­i­ous gases can be put in to cre­ate in­su­la­tion. Ar­gon is a com­mon gas used in multi-pane win­dows, be­cause it’s very ef­fi­cient and af­ford­able.

How­ever, a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion is that you need triple pane glass for op­ti­mal ef­fi­ciency. While this is true in cold cli­mates, an ex­tra pane of glass doesn’t im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency that much in warmer cli­mates. Sure, it will be more en­ergy ef­fi­cient, but usu­ally there are not enough sav­ings to jus­tify the cost. How­ever, if you live near and air­port or on a busy street, triple pane win­dows will in­su­late against the sound. They also are not as easy to break through. So if you are look­ing for quiet along with peace of mind, you might give triple pane win­dows a closer look.

In­stal­la­tion: Even the most en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient win­dow must be prop­erly in­stalled to en­sure en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and com­fort. Win­dow in­stal­la­tion varies de­pend­ing on the type of win­dow, the con­struc­tion of the house (wood, ma­sonry, etc.), the ex­te­rior cladding, and the type (if any) of weather-re­stric­tive bar­rier.

Win­dows, flash­ing, and air seal­ing should all be in­stalled ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s rec­om­men­da­tions to per­form cor­rectly.

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