Your windows are the eyes of your Ohio home. However, windows exist for much more than aesthetic appeal – these features also help control the climate within your home. Different types of windows work in different types of weather. Choosing the appropriate windows for your climate is crucial for comfort, energy savings, solar heat gains, and more. Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right windows for your home’s climate.
How Do Windows Control Temperature? ?
Windows contain many different factors that control climate and keep Akron homes comfortable in all ranges of temperatures. A window’s quality depends on a few factors:
● The quality and detail of the manufacturing
● The insulation of its frames
● Inert gas fills
● Thin metallic coatings
● The number of glass panes
● Glazing spacers
When you purchase windows, it is important to know about the different specifications that dictate climate control. You may see windows with the following labels and energy coefficients:
● U-Factor. The U-Factor refers to the window insulation value, or the ability of the window to block heat from coming into the house or escaping out of the home. Lower U-Factors indicate higher insulation and energy efficiency.
● Air Leakage (AL). The AL refers to how the window can resist and control air leakage from the outside environment.
● Solar Heat Gains Coefficient (SHGC). The SHGC refers to how the window can shade home occupants from the sun.
● Visual Transmission (VT). The VT refers to how much light the window transmits into the home.
Additional factors that window manufacturers use to control temperature include the glazing of the window and the thickness of the windowpanes. Most windows now have two or three glass panes, since single pane windows are not very energy-efficient. Windows with two panes are double-glazed windows and windows with three panes are triple-glazed windows.
Which Windows Are Best for Cold Climates? ?
When you live in a cold climate, such as Ohio winters, your goal is to find a window with good insulation and high solar gain to retain maximum warmth in your home. You want a window with a high VT and very low AL to keep your home comfortable and warm. Look for windows with low U-Factors and high SHGCs for best results. In addition, choose window frames that contain foam-filled fiberglass and vinyl insulation.
For double-glazed windows, you want to make sure your windows meet the following specifications:
● A whole-window U-Factor between 0.30 and 0.39. The lower U-Factor you can obtain, the more warmth your home will retain.
● A whole-window SHGC between 0.42 and 0.55. For best results, opt for a higher SHGC.
Triple-glazed windows are the style of choice for homes in cold climates that value energy efficiency, or for those in loud locations. For triple-glazed windows, you want to make sure that your windows meet the following requirements:
● A whole-window U-Factor between 0.19 and 0.26
● A whole-window SHGC between 0.33 and 0.47
Which Windows Are Best for Hot Climates? ?
Homes in hot climates have the opposite goals of homes in cold climates to maintain maximum comfort. You want to choose windows with low solar gain, but you do want to maintain good insulation in your home. For best results, choose double-glazed windows that have low SHGCs.
In addition, you want to maintain a low U-Factor for optimal insulation. High insulation will help maintain energy efficiency in homes that use air conditioning; poor insulation will cause you to retain more heat, crank the cooling system, and drive up your energy bills. You want a low level of AL as well, and you should opt for a frame with foam-filled fiberglass and vinyl.
When you choose a double-glazed window, you should make sure that it meets the following specifications:
● A whole-window U-Factor at least 0.30 or less. The lower your U-Factor is, the better your window will serve your home.
● A whole-window SHGC between 0.28 and 0.37. The lower your SHGC is, the less heat your home will absorb from the sun through your windows.
Which Windows Are Best for Temperate and Mixed Climates? ?
Maintaining optimal Akron home temperatures in mixed or temperate climates can be tricky. You never know when you might experience a cold snap or a heat wave. For best results, choose windows that have factors that can balance the two types of weather conditions and maintain comfortable temperatures in moderate climates.
You want to opt for a double-glazed window that has a proper solar gain. Different climates will require different levels of solar gain. You want to have a window with low level or air infiltration and low conductive fiberglass and vinyl frame insulation. You want to opt for a low U-Factor for optimal insulation.
In terms of the optimal SHGC, it will depend on your specific climate and window configuration. You want to avoid a high SHGC on windows that face the sun, since a high solar gain can lead to significant overheating in the summer. For the rest of your home, you want to choose windows with SHGCs between optimal levels for hot and cold climates. Find a median SHGC between 0.28 to 0.55 for best results.
Should You Choose Window Tinting? ?
Another option that Ohio homeowners use to control temperature is window tinting. This process can have many benefits for your home:
● Window tinting reduces your energy usage by limiting heat absorption from the sun.
● Window tinting helps keep your home at a consistent climate throughout the day by limiting sun intake.
● Window tinting also reduces glare from the sun, which can maintain comfort inside your home.
● Window tinting also has ultraviolet protection, which protects you from dangerous rays that can cause skin cancer while you are inside your home.
● Window tinting can provide a sense of security in case of an intruder, since it strengthens your window and lengthens the time it would take a burglar to break into your home.
● Window tinting gives added privacy to your home, since people on the street cannot see inside.
● Window tinting can help reduce sun damage to furniture and other objects in your home by limiting harmful rays.
Window tinting is beneficial to people who live in warm or temperate climates, but homeowners in cold climates would not find it as useful. For best results, choose windows that work best for your local environment.