- High-efficiency windows can save money and reduce environmental impact.
- When choosing windows, U-value, SHGC, AL, VT, and C.R. are vital.
- Look for multiple glass panes, Low-E coating, and gas fills for improved insulation.
- The most energy-efficient window depends on the climate in your area.
- Choose Energy Star-labeled windows for specific energy efficiency criteria.
- Wood frames offer excellent insulation but require more maintenance. Vinyl and aluminum require less maintenance but perform less poorly in extreme temperatures.
- Consult a professional installer for the best window for your home and climate.
Energy efficiency has become crucial for homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills and lower their carbon footprint. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential buildings heating and cooling account for about 50%-70% of the energy consumption in utility bills, with windows being one of the main culprits for energy loss.
Choosing the right energy-efficient windows can significantly impact a home’s energy usage, resulting in lower energy bills and a reduced environmental impact. But with several options on the market, it becomes challenging to know where to start. Core Home Innovations will provide expert tips and tricks to help you find the perfect energy-efficient windows for your home. We’ll cover everything from the key factors to consider when selecting windows to the different types available.
By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision when upgrading your windows and on your way to a more energy-efficient home.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows
Before we consider the tips, let’s learn more about the features of the window with energy efficiency.
It is a measure of how much heat is lost through the window. The lower the U-value, the better since less heat will be lost from your home. Choose a window with a U-factor range of 0.2-1.2 for optimum results.
2. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
This rate measures the amount of solar radiation that can enter your home through a window. The lower this number, the less heat from the sun will enter your home, keeping it cool in the summer months. Look for an SHGC value between 0 and 1 for optimal energy efficiency.
3. Air Leakage Rating (A.L.)
Air leakage describes how much air passes through the gaps around the window frame and glass edge. The lower the rating, the less air leakage in the window; therefore, the better insulation you get from it. To ensure good insulation, look for an A.L. rating of 0.3 or below when selecting new windows.
4. Visible Transmittance (V.T.)
Visible Transmittance measures the total visible light that passes through the window. It helps determine how bright your home will be. Find windows with a V.T. rating between 0.20 and 0.80 for energy efficiency for optimal performance.
5. Condensation Resistance Rating (C.R.)
Condensation Resistance describes how effectively a window resists moisture condensation on its inner surface. Windows with low C.R. ratings are prone to water droplets forming on their interior surfaces, which can damage walls and cause mold growth. Choose a window with a C.R. higher rating between 0 and 1 to prevent water buildup from happening.
Characteristics of Energy-Efficient Windows
Now that you know what to look for when choosing windows, here are some key characteristics of these windows that you should be aware of:
1. Multiple Window Panes
Glass is a good insulator, but some heat does pass through it. Using windows with multiple glass panes can prevent this from happening. Most energy-efficient windows are constructed with two or three glass panes. This way, the air between the panes acts as an insulator, reducing heat gain or loss. The price can vary depending on the number of panes, so consult a professional window installer to get the correct window type for your property.
2. Low-Emissivity Coating
The trend for high-efficiency windows is adding a low-emissivity (Low-E) coating layer. This unique film blocks the infrared light, thus reducing the amount of solar heat that passes through the window. The Low-E coating also reflects some heat into your home, which helps reduce the energy needed to keep your home warm during winter.
3. Gas Fills
Adding a gas fill between glass panes also improves insulation, reducing condensation and noise pollution. Argon and krypton have commonly used gases as they provide better insulation than air and don’t harm the environment. However, these gas fills can increase the cost of your windows significantly. Argon is cost-effective when compared to krypton. Thus, it is often used in double-pane windows. However, krypton offered superior insulation and was used more widely with triple-pane windows.
Tips for Choosing the Right Energy-Efficient Windows
Now that we know a lot about high-efficiency windows let’s look at some tips to help you select the best window for your home.
1. Consider the Climate
The climate in your area will determine which window is the most energy-efficient. For sites with warmer temperatures and lots of sunlight, a low-e coating is recommended since it can reflect heat away from your home. For colder climates, triple-pane windows are ideal as they better trap heat inside your home.
2. Look for the Energy Star Label
The Energy Star label is your assurance that the window you are looking at meets specific energy efficiency criteria. Be sure to look for this label when considering a window replacement.
3. Choose the Right Frame Material
Most windows come with wood, vinyl, or aluminum frames. Wood frames have excellent insulation properties but require more maintenance than other materials. Vinyl and aluminum frames offer some insulation benefits. They require less maintenance but do not perform as well in extreme temperatures as wood frames.
4. Consult with a Professional Window Installer
Consulting with a professional window installer is the best way to ensure you get a high-efficiency window that will last for years. They can provide information on which windows and frames may best suit your home and climate and advise you on any local rebates or tax credits that may apply.
In conclusion, high-efficiency windows are an essential and effective tool for reducing monthly energy bills. By considering the factors of size, type, frame material, climate, and installation when purchasing a window, you can get the best home window. Additionally, consulting with a professional window installer is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your new purchase and receive any applicable rebates or tax credits.
Upgrade Your Windows for Energy Savings in Houston, TX
Ready to upgrade your windows and start saving on energy bills? Contact Core Home Innovations today for high-efficiency window installation services in Houston, TX. Our experts can help you choose the perfect windows for your home and provide professional installation. Don’t let inefficient windows drain your wallet, contact us today. Get in touch for a free quote.