How About This Weather! It’s Warm Today.
This sudden uptick in warm weather prompted me to think about energy-efficient windows. We historically think about these types of windows when cold weather is approaching, but they also play an essential role in keeping your home cool during warmer months.
Energy Saver Update
Energy-efficient windows are an essential consideration for both new and existing homes. Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.
If you select windows for new construction or replace existing windows, choosing the most efficient windows, you can afford that work best in your climate is important.
If your existing windows are in good condition, reducing the energy loss through windows can make your home more comfortable and can help reduce your utility bills.
You have two broad options if you hope to reduce the amount of energy lost through your windows and improve the comfort of your home:
- Update your existing windows to improve efficiency
- Replace your windows.
Update Existing Windows to Improve Efficiency
If your windows are in good condition, taking steps to improve their efficiency may be the most cost-effective option to increase the comfort of your home and save money on energy costs. There are several things you can do to improve the efficiency of your existing windows:
- Check existing windows for air leaks
- Caulk and weatherstrip.
- Add energy-efficient window coverings. Learn more about your window covering options.
- Add solar control film
- Add exterior shadings, such as awnings, exterior blinds, or overhangs.
With any efficiency improvements, take steps to ensure proper installation and check for air leaks again after making the improvement.
Replace Your Windows
If you decide to replace your windows, you will have to make several decisions about the type of windows you purchase and the type of replacement. We can assist with reviewing the options.
You will also need to decide what features you want in your windows such as:
- Frame types
- Glazing type
- Gas fills and spacers
- Operation types
Selecting the Right Energy-efficient Window
You also need to consider design, energy use and labeling, warranties, and proper installation in choosing the window type.
First, look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying new windows. Then review ratings on the energy performance label from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) to find the most efficient windows for your needs. NFRC ratings are included on all ENERGY STAR certified windows and provide a reliable way to determine a window’s energy properties and compare products.
Window Selection Tips
- Look for the ENERGY STAR and NFRC labels.
- Consider selecting gas-filled windows with Low-E coatings in colder climates to reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, select windows with coatings to reduce heat gain.
- Choose a low U-factor for better thermal resistance in colder climates; the U-factor is the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow.
- Look for a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). SHGC is a measure of solar radiation admitted through a window. Low SHGCs reduce heat gain in warm climates.
- Select windows with low U-factors and low SHGCs to maximize energy savings in temperate climates with both cold and hot seasons.
- Look for whole-unit U-factors and SHGCs, rather than center-of-glass U-factors and SHGCs. Whole-unit numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product.
Learn more about energy performance ratings for windows from Energy Update.
Installation is key
Proper installation ensures energy efficiency and comfort. Have your windows installed by trained professionals according to the manufacturer’s instructions; otherwise; your warranty may be void.
Window installation varies depending on the type of window, the construction of the house (wood, masonry, etc.), the exterior cladding (wood siding, stucco, brick, etc.), and the type (if any) of a weather-restrictive barrier. Windows, flashing, and air sealing should be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to perform correctly.
Get Started with a Free Consultation
Our McCann Window & Exteriors team has been proud to install energy-efficient windows all over Chicagoland and its north suburbs for many years now. We can recommend an energy-efficient solution that best fits your home and budget. If this is something that you’re considering for your home, give us a call today or fill out the online form for your free consultation.
We offer quality brand energy-efficient windows and doors.
Read more about Marvin’s selection: https://www.marvin.com/energy-efficiency
Pella Offers an Excellent Selection
InsulShield® glass collection1 offers the most innovative and energy-saving choices, with recommendations based on each climate. The options below give the best energy efficiency and protection from the sun and temperatures year-round.
– Advanced Low-E Insulating Triple-Pane Glass with Argon2 features three panes of glass and up to three layers of Low-E thermal protection, with argon between the glass.
– Advanced Low-E Insulating Double-Pane Glass with Argon2 uses insulating double-pane glass with two coats of Low-E thermal protection. This glass also includes argon inserted between the panes of glass to increase energy efficiency.
– Pella’s SunDefense™ Low-E Insulating Double-Pane Glass with Argon2 also offers insulating double-pane glass with a Low-E coating made using three layers of Low-E solar protection to keep your home cooler in the summer. This glass blocks 95 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and has argon inserted into the space between the glass to improve your energy efficiency.