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The Lowdown on Your Windows and Energy Efficiency

by Greg on December 1, 2017

energy efficiency

When it comes to selecting new windows for the home, many homeowners only think about the aesthetic changes these replacement units offer. Few of them realize that window insulation plays a key role in improving their home’s comfort and energy efficiency, and could also be costing them hundreds of dollars every year. With the increasing demand for energy efficiency today, more and more window manufacturers are producing windows equipped with innovative, energy-saving materials to meet the needs of every home.

 

Today’s windows can do much more than allow you to gaze at your picturesque outdoors. They can better regulate your home temperatures to provide greater comfort, all while reducing your energy costs. In this post, you’ll learn how today’s energy-efficient and innovative windows can make all these benefits possible.

Windows energy efficiency

How Can Energy-Efficient Vinyl Windows Save Me Money?

Vinyl windows can be an excellent replacement solution for your old, drafty windows for a large variety of reasons. For one, they work well with energy-efficient glass packages due to their natural insulation properties. Vinyl frames can act as a thermal barrier, preventing excess heat and cold from transferring into your home. And since interior temperatures are regulated constantly, you don’t need to rely too much on your heating and cooling systems, which saves you money and gives you a significant return on investment.

When Should I Get My Windows Replaced?

Unless you’ve owned a home for quite a lengthy number of years, you may never really feel the need to invest in window replacement. The truth is, it’s not something that homeowners tend to think about much—until it’s too late. By the time you think about the possibility of window replacement, you could already be experiencing drafts freely entering your home, moisture penetrating through your walls, and neighbors suggesting that your windows need painting.

Experts agree that, on the average, windows need to be replaced every 20 years or so. Older windows display lower efficiency, causing your heating and cooling bills to rise. However, you do not need to wait for 20 years before replacing a severely damaged window. For example, if your area has recently been hit by a powerful storm, chances are, your windows can be extensively cracked or broken. In such cases, a simple window repair won’t be able to restore the appearance and functionality of your unit. You’ll need to invest in a complete window replacement.

So how do you know which windows to install when replacing your old units? It’s simple—look for the ENERGY STAR® label. This indicates that your new windows have passed the energy standard in your area, allowing them to deliver great energy efficiency.

Windows energy efficiency

How Do I Evaluate My Windows?

There are many ways you can check if your windows need an immediate replacement. Start by looking for condensation between the glass panels. If condensation is present, there might be a failure in your window seals, causing the glass to sweat. You can also check for burnt out or faded areas on your carpets and furnishings. This can mean that ultraviolet rays have been passing through your windows, causing fading and discoloration to your furniture and furnishings within. This shouldn’t be the case, as part of a window’s job is protect you and your valuables from harmful UV rays.

When you see alarming signs such as those mentioned, feel free to contact an expert window contractor right away. They can perform a more in-depth inspection of your windows and recommend the ideal solution for potential problems.

Windows energy efficiency

What Kind of Glass Should I Use?

Today’s modern technologies have paved the way for more energy-saving solutions for windows. Unlike traditional units that come with a single layer of plain glass, more and more windows nowadays are manufactured with double- or triple-pane glass, complete with a few other innovative components. Low-emissivity (Low-E) window glass comes with a dense, harmless gas fill, like Argon or Krypton, in between the panes to prevent excessive heat or cold transfer. Make sure your replacement units have these features so you can maximize their energy efficiency.

In addition, check if your windows have passed the energy ratings for your specific region to get the best value for your money. Factors such as the solar heat gain coefficient, U-factor, visible transmittance, air leakage, and condensation resistance all play a major part in determining the best windows for your home.

Why Vinyl Framed Replacement Windows?

The typical American home loses over 30% of its energy through inefficient windows and doors. By using a natural insulator for your window frames, like vinyl, you can significantly reduce this percentage. Vinyl windows are arguably better than wood replacement windows as they are durable, low-maintenance, and versatile, on top of their great insulating features.

They also have moderate to high R-values, a measure of both the window construction and the materials used versus heat flow. Aside from its energy-saving properties, vinyl is also popular because it can be custom-made to suit your design preferences. Vinyl windows can even be custom-made into different shapes and sizes, allowing you to explore a wide variety of styles.

By choosing windows with the right glass, frame material, and design for your area, you can make sure the house you’re renovating can save on power and energy costs. As an added bonus, when you gain power savings, you’ll do your part to save the environment as well.

 

Todd Kroll

Todd Kroll has been Vice President of Kroll Windows for over 30 years. He’s worked in the construction industry for so long already, and yet he believes that there is still something new to see and experience every day. He is currently in charge of the company’s marketing and promotion activities, a job that he believes is synonymous with sharing what you love to do.

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