Have you ever thought about going green? Investing in energy-efficient home solutions isn’t just a nice way to minimize your carbon footprint; it could also save you up to $1000 a year on electricity and water bills. Energy efficiency saves you money, is good for the overall economy, saves energy resources, and minimizes pollution.
From ceiling fans to furnace humidifiers, there are many ways to make your home more energy efficient. One of the easiest ways to go green is by investing in energy windows. Insufficient windows can be responsible for 20% of your home’s energy loss, so upgrading to energy windows will save you money and boost your home value.
Not sure how to pick energy efficient windows for your home? Read on to learn more about how to choose energy windows and what they offer.
How to Choose Energy Windows
When it comes to choosing the right energy-efficient window, you have to consider: frame, glass, design, and installation.
There are 4 standard frame types for energy-efficient windows. Each of them has their pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of the 4 types.
Wood windows offer the best insulation, but they require more upkeep than other options. They’re also not ideal in humid or rainy climates because they could potentially rot. window made of high-quality wood should last a long time though.
Aluminum doesn’t perform as well as wood, but it deals better in humid or rainy climates and requires less upkeep than wood. Aluminum is also a stronger option for areas that are prone to hurricanes.
Wood-Clad windows are low maintenance and perform well in terms of heat transfer and loss. They are prone to water intrusion, which means they can rot more easily than aluminum windows.
The glass you pick for your window is just important as the frame type. You should look for double-paned glass windows with low emissivity (low-E) glass. This glass, along with its thin, transparent metal coating, will reflect the sun’s heat away from your home in the summer and prevent heat from escaping during the winter.
These windows also provide a lot more insulation than a single-pane window. It’s also easy to find what windows qualify for Energy Star status, which means they have met these two guidelines:
U-Value: U-Value measures a window’s resistance to heat loss
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): SHGC measures the amount of heat that enters a home through the glass.
The lower the number for U-Value and SHGC, the better the window performs.
Beyond the frame type and glass, the design of a frame can dictate how energy efficient it is. Here are the three most common window designs:
Double-hung windows are the most traditional option and are found in a lot of older homes. With these windows, the bottom slides up to open the unit. They’re efficient, but not the best option in places with extreme climates.
Picture windows don’t open and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Glass choice and gas-filled interiors are important when it comes to these window types.
Casement windows have a crank that swings the window outward to open. They seal themselves off when window blows in toward the house. They are popular in windy climates and are very efficient, but they require maintenance of the hinges and seals.
While picking the right frame material, glass type, and design are important, what’s most important is installing the window properly. If you are interested in energy efficient windows, Paramount Builders has replacement options so you can easily switch them out.
What are the Benefits of Energy Windows?
Now that you know how to choose windows, you’re probably wondering why you should buy them! Here are the major reasons why you should invest in energy-efficient windows.
Lower HVAC Costs
Energy efficient windows reduce your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning costs. They also reduce the peak heating and cooling loads. All this means you’ll be saving money while reducing your carbon footprint.
If your window helps reduce peak load, you may be able to actually install a small heating or cooling system. Smaller systems provide better air quality, achieve better dehumidification, and cost much less.
Windows that aren’t energy efficient are more likely to create cold drafts in your home, or cause overheating by allowing too much direct sunlight into a room. Here are two types of comfort energy efficient windows offer:
Winter Thermal Comfort
High-performance windows with lower U-factors provide a higher interior window temperature, which will keep your warm more comfortable.
Summer Thermal Comfort
Windows with low solar heat gain coefficients reduce solar radiation coming through your glass, which will keep your room from overheating.
Increased Light & View
Older energy efficient windows tried to be more effective by tint glazes or shades, which impacted the overall light. New models, however, provide better solar heat gain with minimal loss of light. That means you can still have a great view while still having great insulation.
Windows that aren’t energy efficient generally let in too many UV rays, which will cause your carpet, fabrics, artwork, and wood to fade. Energy windows block UV radiation with their low-E coated glass, which means your belongings will stay looking vibrant for longer.
Final Thoughts on Energy Efficient Windows
Today, energy-conscious homeowners are going green by minimizing the cost of heating and cooling their homes. Selecting the right energy efficient windows is key to saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.
The key to picking the right energy efficient window is exploring your options and determining what’s best for your climate and the kind of home you live in. While energy windows can be expensive, there are ways to upgrade that will give you the best efficiency without breaking the bank.
Have you installed energy-efficient windows? What ways are you going green? Let us know how you’re going green in the comments!