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.