Energy Efficient Windows
Did you know that if you have single pane windows you may be losing 25%-50% of your heating and cooling? Switching your windows to energy efficient models can save you energy and make a significant difference in your heating and cooling bill. Even more, they can also improve the resale value of your home.
What are Energy Efficient Windows?
Energy efficient windows are windows that quite simply help conserve energy. There are different ways that windows can be energy efficient. Ratings are assigned to windows based on how they conserve energy. The ratings include:
• U-factor – This is the rate which a window, door, or skylight conducts non-solar heat flow and it refers to the glass and/or the glazing on the window. The lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient the window.
• Solar heat gain coefficient – This is the amount of solar radiation admitted through your window. The radiation that is absorbed translates into heat which is released inside your home.
• Visible transmittance (VT) – This is the amount of sunlight that is transmitted through a window. Higher VT means it transmits more visible light. If you have a room with a southern exposure then you may want windows with low VT to reduce the light that’s let in during the hot summer months.
• Finally, you may find an air leakage number on your windows. This is the rate of air that’s able to move around a window. Low air leakage means you have a tight fit.
Choosing Your Energy Efficient Windows
It’s often easier to have a consultant work with you to help you figure out your window replacement needs. This is because you may have different needs for your various windows. For example, a window that faces south and receives constant sun exposure may need to be rated differently than a window on the north side of your home.
There are also different window types to consider. The types include:
• Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward. • Hopper windows are hinged at the bottom and open inward. • Casement windows are hinged at the sides. • Fixed windows don’t open. • Single- and double-hung windows can slide vertically and single and double sliding windows slide horizontally.
If you’re unsure whether you need energy efficient windows, consider conducting a home energy audit so you can see just how much energy you’re losing through your windows and doors each day. Choosing the right energy efficient windows for your home can take some time and professional advice can be of great value. It’s often well worth the time and effort since you can save energy and money on your home heating and cooling bills. You can also increase the value of your home, and can often gain some tax credits depending on where you live.