Before you invest in window replacement for your home, you need to know if you are getting the most energy-efficient windows possible. Not only do these help you and your family feel comfortable at any time of the year and in any climate, but they can also reduce your monthly utility bills and help protect the environment. With all of these benefits, it makes sense to understand what makes a good energy-efficient window before you buy it.
Energy Efficient Defined
There is no official definition of what “energy-efficient” means when it comes to window replacement products. In general, it simply means that the window prevents more temperature transference. If you have old, leaky windows in your house, you may feel a cold breeze coming off the glass in the winter. Your electric bill may go up considerably in the summer because your air conditioner has to work extra to cool things down inside.
One of the best ways to determine energy efficiency is to look for the government’s Energy Star certification. The ENERGY STAR® symbol is a consumer icon in Canada that identifies products that have qualified as high efficiency.
Top Window Replacement Characteristics
Besides looking for Energy Star certification, there are various physical characteristics of replacements that improve efficiency.
1. Materials of the Window Frame
Old windows had wooden frames, which is one of the least energy-efficient materials possible. Manufacturers started using aluminum, which was even worse. Innovations in the home building and renovation fields have now developed highly efficient and insulative vinyl products instead.
2. Low-E Glass Panes
The E in “low-E” stands for emissivity, which means the transfer of temperature. If you buy low-E glass panes for your replacement windows, you know that you will keep the right temperature inside and the wrong one outside for your family’s comfort. This is done with invisible and microscopic coatings that reflect UV rays and insulate the glass itself.
3. Multiple Panes of Glass and Gas Fills
Besides low-E ratings, choose windows that have two or three panes of glass to offer more energy efficiency. This helps prevent condensation from forming and blocks more heat and energy transfer. Gas fills in between the panes are completely safe and effective at reducing emissivity and UV transfer even more.
4. Warm Spacers
During the window installation process, tiny brackets called spacers are used to hold the glass in place. These were originally aluminum, which would transfer temperature easily from one side to the other. Installing a window with these was basically like creating leaks on purpose. Choose replacements that use warm spacers instead. This tiny change can make a considerable difference in overtime when it comes to energy efficiency.
Your window replacement project will help you feel comfortable and save money if you pay attention to the energy efficiency ratings and characteristics. As windows are something that lasts a very long time, it makes sense to invest in the best from the start.