Old, damaged windows significantly reduce energy efficiency in office buildings and homes. Windows, even new ones, are the biggest cause of lost heat in a building. When the windows are old and seals are damaged, the heat loss is even greater. The opposite is true also, with elements from the outside making their way to the interior. Installing new windows in your home will make it less drafty, more energy-efficient, and will also save on energy costs.
Options for Improved Energy-Efficient Windows
The most energy-efficient part of a home should be windows and appliances. When choosing replacement windows for your home, understand the options available on the market today. Modern window designs are created to be energy-efficient for homeowner savings, but also to reduce the population’s overall energy usage.
If you haven’t replaced windows in a few decades, there are new designs available that weren’t on the market before. Do your research and be sure to find a trusted professional to discuss the following options for your new windows.
Low-emissivity (low-e) glass is coated in microscopic layers of metallic oxides. Unlike shaded or tinted windows, glass with low-e coatings are invisible to the eye. The window will let in as much natural sunlight as windows without the coating. Low-e glass is a very attractive option for a few different reasons. The coating will greatly reduce the number of UV rays entering your home, helping to reduce fading of floors, furniture, carpets, and curtains. Low-e windows also help control heat in summer and winter months. In the summer, the coating will help to reflect sunlight outside, preventing heat from entering your home. In the winter, the coating works in the opposite manner, reflecting heat back into your home and preventing heat loss.
Double or triple pane windows are always a better option than single pane, regardless of your climate. Windows with multiple glass layers better insulate a home, controlling the internal climate in all seasons. Most multi-pane windows contain argon or krypton gases between the panes to help with the insulation process. These gases create an additional barrier to the elements, noticeably reducing energy costs.
Energy-Efficient Weather Seals
If you’ve ever had old or broken window seals, you understand how drafty a home can become without proper sealant. When replacing windows, it is important to consider the seals that will surround the window. Not all seals are created equal, so be sure to choose a weather seal that is energy-efficient and long-lasting. Before your windows are installed, be sure to speak with the installation contractor about the sealant that will be used. Choosing low-e, multi-pane glass will not be effective if the seals are not energy-efficient, as well.
Choosing Energy Efficient Products
Replacing old windows with multi-pane, low-e windows can save anywhere from 20-50% on energy costs. Most customers find their investment has paid for itself within 2-3 years of purchase. Be sure you do your research, understand the window needs of your climate, and also hire a trusted professional for your window installation.