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Whether you are considering updating your home or building a new home in Fort Worth, TX, you cannot afford to avoid energy efficient windows. After all, nearly 30% of the energy spent heating and cooling your home is lost through windows that aren’t energy efficient and that directly translates to your pocket book through your utility bill.
If your home already has energy efficient windows and you’re seeing your utility bill creep up in cost, then there are a few steps you may need to take to renew those windows so they start saving you money again. The first step is to check for air leaks. You may need to re-do the caulking on your windows or replace the weather stripping. These are things that occasionally need updating and will improve the efficiency of your windows. You can also add window treatments such as curtains and shades, or exterior improvements such as blinds or awnings. You also will want to make sure that they were properly installed. If not, you may want to pull them out and re-install them in order to make sure that there are no leaks around the window affecting your energy efficiency.
When you build a home, or if you chose to replace your windows in Fort Worth, TX, you will have to make a variety of different decisions about the energy efficient windows you chose to install in your home. Besides their shape and size, you’ll need to decide what type of frame you want them in, what type of glazing you want on the glass, the gas fills and spacers and how you would like to operate them. Once those decisions are made you’ll also have to figure out the warranties and installation!
The first thing to look for when choosing energy efficient windows is the Energy Start label. These windows are certified as energy efficient and you can double check their performance on the National Fenestration Rating Council website. Checking out the energy ratings of windows on the NFRC website allows you to compare different products and make sure that the windows you are purchasing meet your energy efficiency needs.
The NFRC website also has a selection process available on their website that allows you to compare replacement options against new construction windows and will even help you choose energy efficient windows based on the Fort Worth, TX climate and the design of your home!
Once you have narrowed down your selection to Energy Star certified energy efficient windows, you can look at other alternatives. For example, energy windows with low-e coatings help to keep heat in your home, while those with greater coatings help to keep heat out of your home. Examine the U-factor as the U-factor is the rate at which energy efficient windows allow non-solar heat to move through them and the solar heat gain coefficient is another measure of how much sunlight comes through the windows and is allowed to cause your home to heat under the sun. In temperate climates the ideal windows have low U-factors and low solar heat gain coefficients.
You want to make sure that any energy efficient windows you choose has ‘whole unit’ U-factor and solar heat gain coefficients. If they only have center of glass U-factor and solar heat gain coefficients then the numbers they are giving on their performance label may not be entirely accurate. When the numbers apply to the entire unit then you really only have to worry about whether or not your windows are installed correctly in order to achieve the optimum in energy efficiency.
The most important part of all energy efficient windows is the installation. A properly installed window is the key to make sure your windows perform correctly. It doesn’t matter how expensive your windows are if they aren’t properly installed. The type of installation your windows will need depends on the way the house is built. Wood and brick construction and the type of cladding, whether wood siding, stucco, brick, stone or something else, will all change how the windows must be installed in order to ensure that they are air tight and as energy efficient as promised.
Improper installation can leave with gaps and holes. Contractors should not rely heavily on expanding foam or expanding sealants because these will wear away fairly quickly and may not be water proof. Waterproofing should be done before window installation and then flashing and caulking used during installation to ensure that the seal is airtight. Furthermore, caulking and flashing should be installed with careful attention to detail otherwise the windows won’t just leak air, they will also leak water. Water leaks around windows can ruin not just the wood around the casing, but also the drywall. An improperly installed window can cause damage to more that just your utility bill.
Energy efficient windows are an important upgrade for an already existing home and an absolute must-have if you are building a new home. They are crucial in reducing your utility bill and helping your home both heat and cool more efficiently than it would with older, less efficient windows. Improving the temperature efficiency of your home by up to 30% is a potential savings that your home simply cannot do without. However, make sure that your window installation is done properly whether you do it yourself or have it done by a professional. While having energy saving windows can save you money, having them improperly installed can cost you more than a high utility bill. It can leave you with costly damage, mold and mildew that have to be cleaned and repaired before you can try to have the windows installed in your home again. Contact Energy Window Solutions to schedule an appointment today!