Steps to Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows for Your HomeOctober 12, 2019
Did you know that heat gain and loss through old, outdated windows make up 25 to 35 percent of a home’s energy consumption? If you’re replacing your windows, make sure to choose energy-efficient ones that are suitable for your climate.
Here are some steps to help you choose energy-efficient windows for your home.
Look for ENERGY STAR® Label
Choose products with an ENERGY STAR label when looking for energy-efficient products. The ENERGY STAR label will contain information on the product’s solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and U-factor measurements, which will tell you a lot about how the window will perform in your local climate.
SHGC is the amount of solar heat that can pass through a window. A lower SHGC means better solar heat gain blocking properties. Meanwhile, U-factor is a rating that determines how much non-solar heat can escape through the window. Replacement windows with a lower U-factor rating are more energy-efficient.
Installing ENERGY STAR-certified Renewal by Andersen® windows and doors can help lower your energy bills, saving you money. The more energy-efficient your windows are, the less energy will seep out of them. This can help in reducing greenhouse emissions. Energy-efficient windows also help eliminate drafts and overheated spaces, keeping your home comfortable.
Choose the Right Frame Material
The frame material has a big impact on the energy efficiency of the window. Window frames are available in different materials like aluminum, wood, vinyl and composite. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, along with different rates of heat transfer.
At Renewal by Andersen, our window frames are made with our unique Fibrex® composite material. Due to the strength of this material, we can make our sash and frames narrower than frames made with other materials, which means you can enjoy a larger glass area and bigger view of the outdoors. Fibrex never requires scraping or painting because it won’t rot, decay or develop mold growth.
Our windows can preserve the architectural beauty of your home. The sash design and frame reflect the lines and shape of your original windows. Fibrex material can be used in the construction of any kind of window, including double-hung, casement, specialty and sliding windows. 40 percent of the raw material by weight used to create Fibrex comes from clean, reclaimed wood.
Compared to vinyl, fiberglass and wood, Fibrex has way better insulating properties. Aluminum lets heat escape from your home and cold outdoor air to enter. Fibrex material insulates 700 times better than aluminum. Unlike vinyl that expands and contracts significantly, Fibrex experiences very minimal thermal movement, which prevents cracks, bowing as well as leaks.
Understand the Different Kinds of Window Glazing
Glazing technology has advanced a lot in recent years. The type of glazing that will work best for you when it comes to saving energy depends on your climate and your home’s design. The most common types of glazing feature gas fills, heat-absorbing tints, Low-E coatings and reflective coatings.
Gas fills like argon and krypton are inserted between glass panes. They lower the U-factor of windows and are commonly used in colder parts of the U.S. Heat-absorbing tints are available in various colors. The most popular ones are gray and bronze tints, which help reduce heat and glare from the sun. Consider blue and green tints for your new double-hung windows if you want plenty of natural light in your home but want to reduce heat transfer.
Low-E coatings can reduce energy loss by 30 to 50 percent. Renewal by Andersen High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass is significantly more energy-efficient than regular glass and also blocks 84 percent of ultraviolet rays that would otherwise fade your decor and furniture.
Our most energy-efficient option is our SmartSun™ glass. It has our highest efficiency rating in cool weather and is also ideal for hot climates. It’s 45 percent more energy-efficient in winter and 70 percent more efficient in summer than regular glass. It blocks 95 percent of harmful UV rays.
Choose Your Window Style Based on Operation
Not all window styles offer the same level of energy efficiency. Some are better at improving your home’s energy efficiency than others. Double-hung, casement, sliding and picture windows are some of today’s most popular window styles.
Hinged windows like casements and awnings are better at reducing the amount of air leakage than sliding windows because their sash closes tightly by pressing against the frame. This is why hinged windows are very common in windy locations. If you’re choosing sliding or double-hung windows for your home, make sure your window contractor weatherstrips them properly to prevent air leaks.
Double-hung windows are produced by numerous manufacturers, giving you a wide range of options to choose from. They are usually easy to open and close. Since the tracks are vertical, they don’t accumulate as much dirt. This window style is often found in classic and traditional-modern homes.
Meanwhile, casement windows are excellent at eliminating drafts because of their tight window seal. Go for this window style if you want to remove cold drafts from your home. Sliding windows are extremely durable since they have no cranks or mechanisms. Picture windows are stationary, providing excellent energy savings.
Renewal by Andersen of Eastern NY is the area’s leading window company. We are your top provider of some of the most energy-efficient windows and doors in the industry. Call us at (866) 479-1700 or fill out our online form to request a free, in-home consultation.