Why Choose Energy Efficient Windows?

energy-efficient-windows

Windows are arguably the most important feature of any modern home, but the days when they simply improved a home’s natural curb appeal and aesthetic are also long gone. As technology has changed, homeowners have demanded more than ever before, and the windows manufacturing industry has happily obliged.

Today, energy-conscious homeowners seek to minimize their costs by investing in energy-efficient windows. All properties lose heat through their windows, and energy-efficient windows have essentially been designed to keep the cold air out, and the warm air in, or vice versa. Carefully selected replacement windows can now drastically reduce your energy consumption.

Overcompensating for air leakage during the winter months leads to a significant increase in energy bills. The financial benefits of purchasing energy-efficient windows are worth the initial investment. Replacing your conventional windows with energy-efficient windows will lower your bills by anywhere between 11% – 25%.

Naturally, this saving will depend on the condition of your windows, but your home’s interior will no longer have any cold spots which require constant heating.

What Makes a Window Energy-Efficient?

Depending on your unique taste and practical requirements, you may face a daunting task with the spectrum of choices you are presented with once browsing for energy-efficient replacement windows. With the variety of materials on offer, it’s important to know what will work for your home and your climate.

energy-Star-LogoFor starters, you absolutely have to check that the product is certified. Always look for Energy-Star certified windows to be sure you are dealing with a quality product.

However, no matter how good your product may be, correct installation is critical. Most window-related problems are due to poor installation.

You absolutely have to compare estimates and get in touch with some local professionals to get a clearer idea of your specific and unique installation requirements as well as your local pricing trends.

But before you even get to that point, here are 2 of the main factors to consider before getting to this point.

Firstly, how tight are they when closed? If the window doesn’t sit very tightly in the frame you run the risk of losing heat.

Secondly, how sturdy does the frame feel to you? A “heavier” frame will not feel flimsy under inspection and probably make for a more reliable installation material.

Efficient Window Frame Design

Selecting the wrong frame could turn out to be costly over time. When you are looking at different materials, consider the following:

1. Aluminum

Aluminum windows are practical in rainy or humid climates. They also meet stringent coastal building codes in hurricane-prone areas.

2. Aluminum Clad

Advanced design makes this a superior energy performer. Aluminum clad offers quality with nearly endless options to enhance your home. It also has easy installation and less disturbance to both the home’s interior and exterior.

fiberglass-window frame

3. Fiberglass Composite

A highly advanced fiberglass composite offers thermal protection, minimal expansion or contraction, moisture and chemical resistance, and a paintable exterior that retains its color over time.

4. Vinyl

Although many homeowners do not enjoy the look of vinyl, it remains a practical choice for others. Vinyl offers a multi-chambered design, strong resistance to heat flow, and a variety of styles. It also has excellent energy efficiency when well constructed around the insulated glass. Vinyl can be limited in color choices, however.

5. Wood

Wood windows have great insulative value. It does however run the risk of rot, especially in humid or rainy climates, and therefore requires more upkeep. This may however not matter to some homeowners. AuraLast wood now also offers reduced toxins and less rot.

6. Wood-Clad

Wood-clad usually carries a virtually no maintenance aluminum or vinyl exterior with temperature-transfer-resistant wood interior. This is the leading edge of energy efficiency, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

Efficient Window Design

Some windows are inherently more energy efficient while others have been designed especially for saving energy. The most popular designs include:

  • casement_window_viewCasement Windows – Popular in windy areas and requires maintenance on seals and hinges.
  • Double-Hung – Very popular choice but not practical in extreme weather due to the risk of heat loss through the sliders.
  • Double-Pane – Laminated glass in an insulating unit is produced by bonding 2 pieces of glass together with a tough plastic interlayer. The void is filled with non-toxic gasses like argon, or simply air. Depending on your supplier, a double-pane can even out-perform a triple-pane window for noise reduction.
  • Fixed Windows – Not suitable in places where ventilation is required, but airtight when correctly installed.
  • Hopper Window – The sash closes by pressing against the frame, making for very low air leakage.
  • Picture Windows – Cannot open, but still a very popular choice for energy efficiency, depending on your unique requirements.
  • Triple-Pane Windows – Rated #1 among industry leaders for energy efficiency. Triple-pane offers noise reduction and UV protection too.

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