Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows

Double Pane, Double Tilt, Vertical Replacement Window

Double Pane, Double Tilt, Vertical Replacement Window

There are hundreds of ways to conserve energy without having to time your showers or stop using your air conditioner. Anyone worried about energy usage should consider installing energy-efficient replacement windows, as the right windows prevent heat transfer and keep cold air outdoors. This reduces energy usage, decreases heating and cooling costs, and makes homes more comfortable. When searching for windows, choose products made with energy-efficient materials to reduce energy usage.

Framing Materials

Energy-efficient replacement windows come in a wide selection of framing materials. One of the most important considerations when choosing a framing material is how well the material insulates against heat and cold. Some of the best framing materials for reducing energy usage include vinyl, fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and composite. Vinyl frames provide excellent insulation against heat. Fiberglass is durable and requires very little maintenance. It is also a good insulating material for windows.

Wood and aluminum are both very durable, but wood requires more frequent maintenance to protect against rotting. Aluminum is recyclable, so it is a good choice for homeowners who are concerned about how their buying decisions affect the environment. Composite materials are made from materials that have been blended together. These materials provide good insulation and require very little maintenance.

Glass and Glazing

If your home has single-paned windows, consider replacing them with double-paned windows or glazed windows. A single pane of glass does not do much to insulate a home, so switching to a more energy-efficient window can reduce energy usage and slash home energy costs. Double-paned windows do a better job of insulating because there are air spaces between the two panes of glass. These spaces reduce the amount of heat lost, which makes it possible to keep a home warm without using as much heat.

Double pane glass cataway view.

Double Pane Glass

Special coatings also increase energy efficiency and reduce the amount of energy used to heat or cool a home. Low-emittance glass, also called low-e glass, is a treatment used to increase the energy efficiency of double-paned windows. Double-paned windows made with low-emittance glass are 35 percent more efficient than double-paned windows that have not been treated with the coating, according to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Another way to reduce energy usage is to purchase windows that have been filled with argon. Argon is a safe, inexpensive gas that does not transfer heat very well, so it provides insulation against heat loss.

Energy-efficient replacement windows cost a little more than some windows, but they are well worth the expense when you consider how much energy they save. After you select your replacement windows, have an experienced contractor install them. If the windows are not installed properly, they will not insulate your home and reduce your energy usage as much as expected.

 

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