It’s never too late to fit an existing home with energy-efficient windows. In fact, it’s becoming standard procedure to fit them onto newer homes. One can go on about the benefits they offer. But with so many designs on the market and all the varying efficiency levels, making a selection can be pretty hectic.
What do you do if you don’t know anything about windows and you’re thinking of taking the energy-efficient route? How can you tell which brand of energy-efficient windows is better than the rest? What do you need to keep your eyes peeled for and how do you make a purchase you’ll never regret? Here’s a surefire way to pick the best energy-efficient windows for your home.
Stick with what’s Certified
The first thing is to make sure a product has had its efficiency level measured. The best way to guarantee this is by going for windows certified by ENERGY STAR. The energy performance label from the National Fenestration Rating Council is also a good indication of efficiency. You’ll be able to tell which windows are most efficient by going through their energy performance ratings. These ratings are written on the label and they’re objective metrics you can use to base your decision.
Your choice will also have to be guided by the kind of climate that you’re subjected to. In warmer weather, you don’t want an accumulation of heat. In that case, you should go for thermally coated windows. In colder weather, you want to keep in as much heat as possible, so coated windows filled with gas are your go-to.
Know Your Numbers
There are certain energy measurements you’ll need to take into consideration. The u-factor, for example, will tell you just how good a window is at conducting non-solar heat flow. A lower u-factor will be ideal for a house that’s constantly exposed to cold weather. This is because such a window will be more thermally resistant.
Then you have the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. This represents the degree to which solar radiation passes through a window. If your area is sunny for most of the year, you want a low SHGC reading. This is especially so if you want to cut down on the amount of heat gain.
It’s also important to realize that there are different ratings for different areas in the glass. There’s a rating for the center of the glass and one for the entire unit. For a more precise rating, check out the rating for the center of the glass.
Match the Windows to the House
Coupling your house with the right windows isn’t just about style. A home constructed from masonry will have different needs than a house made from wood. A wooden exterior cladding and a stucco exterior cladding will have their own distinct requirements, too.
You also need to get the right size and fit so you don’t get air leaks, and you’re going to have to decide if you need spacers. Even the way the windows operate is important because not all types will perform the same way in different spaces.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Advice
Many manufacturers will have guidelines on how to best install their products. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by making sure your installation is carried out along those guidelines. See if your installer is trained in installing that brand because that’ll determine how well those guidelines are followed.
Are Energy Star Windows Worth It?
Energy Star windows usually save more energy than those fitted to houses built to code. With these in your home, you can expect to save over 10% on your energy costs. You’re looking at potentially saving hundreds of dollars every year.
How Can You Tell Windows are Energy-Efficient?
First up, look for the Energy Star rating. You’ll be able to tell just how efficient they are by looking at the figures they have printed on there. Unless you’re looking to conduct a whole array of DIY tests once you’ve bought the windows, go by these labels. After all, the Department of Energy advises you to do so.
What Window Material is Most Energy Efficient?
Wood, as demanding as it is, is notable for its insulation properties. Still, you’ve got both structure and coatings to deliberate on. To combat heat transfer between the inside of the window and the outside, you can get gas filled in between the glazing layers. If your home is located in a cooler region, low-emissivity coatings are your salvation. They’re known to prevent the loss of energy by up to 50 percent.
Which Replacement Windows are the Most Energy-Efficient?
Double pane windows are twice as efficient as single pane ones. When used in a whole-house replacement, you see a serious difference in efficiency and temperature control. For even better results, you can take it further and get triple-pane windows.
- If you’re not satisfied with the Energy Star label, see if there’s a National Fenestration Rating Council label.
- Make sure to use an installer that knows what they’re doing. Installation should be carried out exactly according to the recommendations set out by the manufacturer.
- Check out customer reviews and testimonials to gain insight into what you can expect.
- Take a trip to the dealer or installer to see what you’re working with.
Take Your Pick
Now that you have a better idea of how to choose energy-efficient replacement windows, you’ll do well to take note of the information provided. It’ll be crucial in determining the type of windows you get.
From morning to midnight, energy-efficient windows will give you a comfortable temperature balance. You don’t have to artificially alter the temperature in your home as much and you won’t have to replace them as often as the regular kind of windows. What’s more, you won’t have to deal with the kind of condensation that normal windows have.
You’ll save money now, and for decades to come. Your furniture won’t age quickly anymore and you’ll be helping the environment. In a world where sustainability is a big deal, energy efficiency is key. Any small step you take to make your home energy efficient is a step worth taking.
There’s no need to sit on the fence anymore. You can now confidently decide on which replacement windows you want for your home. When in doubt, you can always consult with an expert, but at least you know you’ve caught a few hints and you’ll know which questions to ask.