How to Choose the Best Energy Efficient Windows

How to Choose the Best Energy Efficient Windows



How to Choose the Best Energy Efficient Windows


There are several factors to consider when choosing the right Energy Efficient Replacement Windows. The first thing that many people think about when picking Windows is, “how will these Windows look in my house?” This is a great question as curb appeal is extremely important to maintaining a home’s value. It’s always best to make changes and additions that will increase or maintain your home’s appeal and value. Though there are some changes that each homeowner will make according to personal style, if the possibility of a sale is imminent, it’d be best to consider the overall value of each choice.

Energy efficiency is another very important aspect of Window shopping. What exactly affects a Window’s energy efficiency? Well, there’s the “U factor,” different Coatings of glass, proper insulation, and proper installation techniques to consider. Let’s dive into these factors.

The U Factor

The “U factor” or “U figure” is the rate at which a Window loses heat. A Window can lose heat in four different ways; conduction, radiation, convection, and air leakage.

-Conduction is the direct transfer of heat through the Window to the outDoors.

-Radiation is the movement of heat as infrared energy through the glass. C

-Convection occurs when air gives up its heat to the cooler glass and sinks toward the floor – this movement sucks new, warmer air toward the glass that is in turn cooled, creating a draft.

-Air leakage, more self-explanatory than the rest of the terms, is simply the passage of heated air through cracks and around weather-stripping.

Reducing one or all four ways that Windows can lose heat can help lessen the U value of your Windows. The U value is scored on a scale from.25-1.25. A low U value, like.25, indicates good insulation.

Decrease the U Factor Increase Efficiency

You can decrease a Window’s U factor by coating your Windows with low-emitting (low-E) Coatings. Low-E Coatings are metal or metallic oxide layers on a Window surface that reduces radiative heat flow. There are a variety of applications of low-E Coatings that are dependent on geographical location and personal preferences regarding the temperature of your home. Three of the main applications of Low-E Coatings are Double-Glazed with High-Solar-Gain Low-E Glass, Double-Glazed with Moderate-Solar-Gain Low-E Glass, Double-Glazed with Low-Solar-Gain Low-E Glass. Higher solar-gain glazing tends to perform better in winter, while lower solar-gain glazing tends to perform better in the summertime.

Understanding Solar-Gain Glazing

Higher solar-gain glazed Windows help reduce heat loss but permit solar gain, making them best suited for homes located in heating-dominated climates.

Moderate solar-gain glazed Windows may lessen the solar heat gain but they retain high visible transmittance, which helps limit heat loss and solar gain. This sort of glaze is best for homeowners living in climates with heating and cooling concerns.

Lower solar-gain glazed Windows are idea for cooling climates as they reduce heat loss in winter, and substantially reduce solar heat gain in the winter and in summer.

A Frame’s Contribution to Insulation

A home’s insulation is affected by more than just the Window itself, but the Window frames also play a vital role in maintaining Energy Efficient insulation. The different types of frames are metal, wood, wood clad, and vinyl. Metal frames are light, strong, durable, and can be morphed to fit virtually any Window pane.

Unfortunately, metal frames conduct a lot of heat. Wood is not the most durable frame, but they usually have low U values (.3-.5). Vinyl is a very versatile plastic with good insulating value. Vinyl is comparable to wood in terms of its thermal performance. Its small hollow chambers within the frame help to reduce convection exchange.

Before You Buy

Buying the most expensive Energy Efficient Window is useless without the proper installation. Having a Window that fits into your wall is equally as important as having a low U value and low-E coated Window.


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