Photo By Antoha713 at Shutterstock
Outside of modernization, the number one reason that most homeowners consider replacing their windows is to make their Lewisville, TX homes more energy-efficient. Whether you want to lower your utility bills or lower your carbon footprint, you can accomplish both tasks by installing energy-efficient windows. Several factors can determine how efficient your windows are, such as installation, glass type, and window materials. Each of these factors determines the ultimate thermal performance of your new energy efficient windows.
With that in mind, before investing in new windows it may be helpful to look closely at what makes windows efficient and what you should look for. There are a lot of windows out there on the market, more than you probably even knew existed. Before getting confused and overwhelmed, take a step back and learn what you need to shop for if you want the best energy-efficient windows for your budget.
What Are the Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows?
Wondering why so many people are looking for energy efficient windows? There are a lot of good reasons to consider an update if you have old windows. Old windows tend to be drafty for a variety of reasons, and every time air escapes your HVAC system has to work ten times harder to maintain the temperature within your home. That means you are paying more and hurting the environment when you don’t have to be.
The major benefits of choosing windows that are energy efficient are increased comfort, reduced energy costs, and can help save the environment. Do you ever find yourself moving away from a window when it’s cold? With new windows, you won’t have to worry about that. Strong windows will block all air out so that your home is cozy and comfortable at all times. Alternatively, it can be cool and calming during a hot Texas summer.
As mentioned, energy efficient windows are also extremely cost-effective. On average, if you choose an ENERGY STAR rated window for your home you can save as much as $100-$500 a year depending on the number of windows in your home. At the same time, the average person who replaces single-pane windows saves around 2,000 pounds of CO2 a year. That’s a lot of dangerous gas that is not released into the atmosphere by your home.
Window Materials That Make a Window Energy Efficient
There are two different types of materials in a window that you need to consider when looking for energy efficient windows. They are frame material and window class, and both are extremely important when making your final decision. Outside of materials, you also need to consider window tinting to help reduce glare, optional foam in the frame for further insulation, and professional installation. After all, if a window is not properly installed it will not be energy efficient regardless of what type of window you choose.
Perhaps the most important thing you need to consider is window materials. The style of glass, type, and thickness all play a role in the way your windows help increase the energy efficiency in your home. Certain glass can block solar rays and reduce the ability of glass to conduct heat, so they are all important. In general, you need to think about the type of glass coating on a window, the insulating gas that is used inside the window, and the number of glass panes. Most window companies recommend that you choose double-pane glass at a bare minimum, but if you can afford it triple-pane glass will offer maximum energy efficiency benefits.
Frame Materials that Increase Energy Efficiency
Once you pick out your glass, you need to think about the frame you want around your windows. There are a variety of window frame materials and each offers a different degree of thermal resistance. The most resistant frame materials result in the most energy efficient windows. Wood is a popular choice and it works as an excellent insulator. Fiberglass is another popular material that can insulate on a similar level as wood. If you want added energy efficiency, you may want to look at multi-chambered vinyl frames because they help to further reduce heat loss. Your last choice will be aluminum which is cheap, but unfortunately, it has a low insulation rating. This means that they allow more heat or cold into your home compared to other window types. You don’t want to pay more for high-end windows just to lose your air or heat via the frame.
Energy Certifications You Should Know
When shopping for energy efficient windows you need to familiarize yourself with several energy certifications. Third-parties compare and rank windows to help consumers make wise decisions. You will see ENERGY STAR and NFRC ratings frequently while shopping for windows and should pay attention to both.
The ENERGY STAR rating is given by the EPA and is only offered if it deems a window or door is energy efficient. The ENERGY STAR rating can help consumers judge how much energy, money, and carbon emissions they will save by choosing a certain product. Any ENERGY STAR rated window designates it as a product that can reduce emissions and consume less energy within your home.
The other rating you should recognize is the NFRC label. This stands for National Fenestration Rating Council which is a nonprofit organization that rates energy efficient windows. The NFRC rating does not just look at the glass in the window but instead looks at the performance of the entire unit from frame to glass. Any reputable energy efficient window should have both the NFRC and ENERGY STAR rating on it.
Thinking about installing energy efficient windows but need a little more guidance? Energy Window Solutions has been helping customers in the Lewisville, TX area upgrade their windows for the past 30 years. We would be glad to help you wade through the world of windows. Give us a call today to schedule your free estimate.