We expect our energy saving windows to be durable, easy to operate and maintain, attractive and most of all inexpensive.
We can agree that new windows can reduce our energy bill, but we can not expect to recoup our investment anytime soon, because new windows can save us between 10 and 25 percent per year on heating and cooling. Therefore we have to determine our real home energy-efficiency needs. Some energy saving windows may be more effective in keeping heat in, while others are prone to hurricanes.
When shopping for new windows, we are bombarded with numbers, abbreviations and terms that indicate the energy efficiency of our new windows.
So what is the key information to consider:
Air Leakage – level of air passing through the joints of the windows. A lower number is better.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – measures how well a product blocks the sun’s heat. Ratings range from zero (the best) to 1 (the worst).
U-Factor – the lower the U-Value, the more energy saving the window and the greater a window’s resistance to heat flow. Most windows have a U-Factor between 0.20 and 1.20
Visible Transmittance – the more light allowed in, the higher the Visible Transmittance value. Simply said, the higher the VT number, the more light we can see. A zero value means the window does not let in any light.
Energy Star logo – Look for an Energy Star logo on all energy-efficient windows you plan to buy. This mark certifies that the window in question has been deemed energy efficient by the United States Department of Energy.
single-panes, double-panes, and triple-panes – we can deduce that dual-paned (or more) windows will save more money than single-paned windows.
uncoated and coated windows with hard or soft coating – layers and type of reflective glass coating are important. The coating reflects unwanted cold in the winter and unwanted heat in the summer while others are not. Most windows have only one pane of glass coated. We prefer soft coating because it is more reflective, but it is more expensive.
Low-e glass coating – low emittance of energy. It is a thin metallic layer on the panes between the glass that reduces the flow of heat. In summer, the low e glass keepsthe heat outside your home.
Argon filled or Krypton filled – type of gas used between the window panes. Argon filling is cheaper.
Condensation Resistance – condensation resistance value is measured from 1 to 100. Windows with value closer to 100 resists condensation better.
R-Value – the inverse of the U-Factor. A higher R-Value means better insulation, s
Window’s warranty – standard windows are made to last for 10 years
Wood, fiberglass, aluminium or vinyl windows?
Typically, windows made of wood and fiberglass are more expensive than vinyl windows, Wooden and fiberglass windows excelled at keeping out cold air and rain when new. Vinyl replacement windows tend to leak air more. What is important to say, you can not expect the highest quality vinyl windows at the lowest prices. But vinyl replacement windows made of the highest quality insulated plastic and vinyl can lower energy costs by minimizing effective heat loss.
Aluminum windows does conduct heat, fiberglass frame is ideally lightweight and very resilient to high and low temperatures.
The energy efficient windows combines:
- well-built and insulated frames,
- multiple panes of glass ,
- low E glass ,
- Krypton or Argon gas fills between panes.
When shopping for energy efficient windows, it is very important to find a reputable window installer and dealer who can help guide you to the best windows for your home.