How to find the best energy
efficient windows for your home
Looking for the best replacement windows?
Selecting the best energy efficient windows for your home requires doing some homework.
Carefully considerations should be made taking into account all the different window technologies available on the market today.
There are several important factors to consider before you can choose the best replacement windows for your home.
Regional Climate The U.S Department of Energy, by way of its Energy Star Program, has designated four separate U.S climate zones with regard to overall window energy efficiency.
Different climates have varying insulation and home comfort needs.
So finding the best replacement windows for your home will largely depend on which region in the U.S you live in.
Window energy efficiency ratings
The National Fenestration Rating Council, or the NFRC, is the only independent non profit organization with a developed and recognized national energy performance rating system for windows, doors and skylights.
All NFRC tested and approved home windows are labeled. And located on the NFRC label are ratings for key efficiency performance measurements.
Measurements such as U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain, are key factors with that determine overall window energy efficiency. All consumers should familiarize themselves with these ratings.
Double paned windows & Triple paned windows
In most existing homes in America, windows are the largest source of wasted energy. This is due in large part to traditional single glass windows that are in well over 50% of American homes today.
Double paned windows reduce heat loss and gain because these units come equipped with two separate glass layers along with a vacuumed and sealed insulating air space between them.
Triple glazed windows have three layers of glass and two separate vacuumed and sealed insulating air gaps, instantly improving overall window energy efficiency and making them some of the best energy efficient windows currently available.
Window glazing and coating Manufactures are using energy saving treatments to even further insulate double paned and triple paned windows. There are several low emittance coatings, or low E glazing, developed to further reduce costly heat loss and heat gain.
Some energy star windows even go further
Some of the best energy efficient windows take even further steps to insulate the air spaces between the multiple panes, or layers of glass.
Gas filled windows come with non toxic and odorless gases injected between the panes, improving overall window energy efficiency.
Depending on your budget, energy star windows with both low e glazing and insulating gases may be the best energy efficient replacement windows for you.
The window frame is important also!
When selecting the best energy efficient windows for your home keep in mind that the window frame doesnt just serve a cosmetic or an aesthetic purpose. Which window frame material you choose will have an impact on your home heating and cooling bills.
Energy star windows and operating styles
When purchasing a window unit its important to note that there are several operating styles to choose from. And some of these varying styles open and seal very differently than others.
Whether you choose a double hung or a horizontal slide model can also have an effect on your heating or cooling bills.
Proper installation is also important Energy savings minded home owners should also consider that how replacement windows are installed is important as well. There are several different techniques used when installing replacement windows and which installation method used can determine overall energy efficiency.
Keep in mind
Replacement windows are truely long term investments that will take years to eventually pay for themselves.
With that said, the right combination of energy saving window treatments and coverings can significantly reduce costly heat loss and heat gain at the window immediately.