What Makes a Window Energy Efficient?
Windows have an essential part to play in managing the passive solar aspects of a home. They significantly reduce your heating, cooling, lighting, and overall energy costs, helping homeowners save money and reduce their environmental impact.
To ensure homeowners get the most out of their windows, manufacturers and installers continually develop cost-effective window solutions that promote energy efficiency.
But what exactly makes a window "energy-efficient"? In this blog, we will explore ten things that define the energy efficiency of windows.
10 Things That Define The Energy Efficiency Of Your Windows
When selecting new windows for your home, several factors go into determining how efficient they are. Let's take a look at each one in detail:
- The Installer
You might not realize it, but the person you choose to install your windows can make a massive difference in how energy-efficient they turn out to be. It's all about how snugly the windows fit into their frames – and that's where the expertise of the window installer comes into play.
The more experienced and skilled the installer, the more airtight the window will be, which translates into better insulation properties for your home.
So, when it's time to replace those worn-out windows, remember to invest in hiring an experienced professional who specializes in fitting replacement windows.
- Energy Star
When it comes to choosing the right windows for your home, an Energy Star certification is like a seal of approval you can trust. This rating means that the window has been thoroughly tested and meets the energy efficiency criteria set by the EPA.
But don't just stop at the label - delve a bit deeper and check the energy rating (ER) to find the best match for your needs. The ER provides a balanced representation of the U-factor, SHGC, and air-leakage, making it a reliable indicator of efficiency.
Keep in mind that a higher ER number signifies a more efficient product, so better keep an eye out for those windows sporting a high ER!
- The Window Style
Window styles may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about energy efficiency in our homes, but they can significantly impact our energy bills and comfort.
Take, for example, double-hung windows versus single-hung windows. Double-hung windows tend to outshine single-hung ones when it comes to preventing that pesky air leakage around the frames and sashes. The reason behind this superiority is the simple fact that both sashes in a double-hung window seal more effectively when closed compared to the single sash in a single-hung window.
So next time you're in the market for new windows, don't just consider their aesthetic appeal but take into account their energy efficiency potential as well.
- The Frame and Sash
When it comes to sprucing up your home's windows, the options for frames and sashes are abundant, offering different materials that boast unique benefits to cater to your specific preferences.
For instance, wood offers a classic charm and excellent insulating properties, making it the go-to choice for those who seek both aesthetics and thermal performance. On the other hand, vinyl is a low-maintenance material that is relatively simple to install – perfect for homeowners who want to spend more time enjoying their new windows rather than fussing over their upkeep.
Finally, there's aluminum – a staple for modern, sleek designs offering top-notch structural integrity without the hassle of maintenance. The choice is ultimately yours, but one thing's for sure – with diverse materials like these, you're bound to find the perfect combination of style and function that makes your home truly stand out!
- The Glazing
Glazing is the insulation on window glass that plays a significant role in reducing your energy consumption. Featuring Low-E coatings, glazed windows work like a charm to prevent heat transfer between the great outdoors and the sanctuary of your home.
Not only does glazing help your house efficiently retain heat in the winter and cool in the summer, but it also takes some pressure off your heating and air-conditioning system, allowing it not to work overtime.
- Coating & Tints
Certain tints applied on glazing filter out sunlight depending on the color chosen while still letting some light through, leading to further reduced solar gain throughout hot days resulting in improved insulation performance overall.
- The Gas
Energy-efficient windows featuring argon, krypton, or other inert gases sandwiched between the glass panes offer an innovative solution for keeping your home comfortable throughout the year.
These gases have unique properties that enhance insulation substantially compared to conventional air-filled double-glazed windows. Furthermore, these odorless, colorless, and non-toxic gases ensure safety and peace of mind for homeowners who embrace this sustainable technology in their quest for a more energy-efficient lifestyle.
Spacers play a vital role in maintaining thermal efficiency within various structures, particularly in the context of window designs. By separating two individual panes of glass or other similar materials, spacers ingeniously create additional dead airspace, which acts as a thermal barrier between the contrasting temperatures on either side of the window.
This well-designed implementation of spacers acts as a strategic buffer, effectively reducing heat transfer and achieving a balanced environment.
Weatherstripping has proven to be an incredibly effective method for enhancing home energy efficiency. This straightforward and reasonably priced solution works to seal the movable connections when the door or window is closed by addressing air leaks that occur through doors and operable windows.
The result is an increased level of protection against air drafts, which subsequently reduces energy consumption and ultimately lowers utility bills. Homeowners seeking an accessible means to create a more comfortable and energy-conscious living space will undoubtedly find weatherstripping to be a valuable investment.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the hardware of windows does not have a direct influence on their energy efficiency. This is because most window hardware acts as conductors, transferring heat rather than insulating against it.
Nonetheless, investing in high-quality hardware can still contribute to the overall energy-efficiency of your windows. By providing an air-tight seal when the windows are closed, top-notch hardware can effectively prevent drafts and air leakage.
Thus, it is advisable to consider the quality of hardware while choosing windows to ensure optimal energy conservation in the long run.
In conclusion, investing in quality energy efficient windows is essential if you want to enjoy great comfort levels inside your house all year round without worrying about bill amounts.
Keep these 10 points in mind when selecting quality products designed specifically for maximum performance all year long!