As the world is becoming more concerned about energy savings, energy-efficient windows are gaining popularity. Now you may wonder how energy-efficient windows are any different from other types of windows. When it comes to designing and installing energy-efficient windows, technology plays a crucial role. Unlike the traditional windows, these latest windows can lower your electricity bills by minimizing the use of artificial heating and cooling in a building. These energy-saving windows are designed to prevent your heated or cooled air from escaping your home. They have insulation capabilities to make your home more comfortable. Whether you want to keep solar heat out of the home during summers or retain the warmth inside during winter, energy-efficient windows can insulate against heat and cold up to four times better than conventional windows. These windows can keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
If you want to install energy-efficient windows in your home, the easiest way is to look for the Energy Star logo. Energy Star certified windows fulfills the criteria of energy-efficiency. The double or triple-paned windows with low U-factor have insulating capabilities. The Energy Star windows for colder regions are designed in a way to keep heat out of the home. Now you may wonder what exactly makes a window energy-efficient.
What makes window energy efficient?
Windows comprises several components such as the glass, frame, and hardware. All these components together determine the performance and functionality of windows. There are certain factors that impact heat gain and heat loss through windows. It is these factors that make a window energy-efficient. Below we’ve mentioned the factors that determine the energy efficiency of windows.
- Low-E Glass Coatings
Low-e (low emissivity) glass has a transparent coating which helps in reducing the amount of heat passing through the glass. This coating keeps heat inside your home in the winter or prevents outside summer heat from entering the home. The Low-E glass coating only controls heat transfer without restricting the flow of natural light. If you install exterior low-E coating, it restricts the ultraviolet and the infrared light from entering your home while still allowing the sunlight to pass through.
- Multiple Window Panes
The energy-efficient windows are either double-paned or triple-pane windows. These windows consist of multiple sheets of glass that are placed together with spacers. The traditional windows with only one pane of glass are incapable of preventing the heated or cooled air from escaping. But the multi-layer design of modern windows creates air pockets that prevent air seepage. When combined with low-E glass on at least one pane and argon gas in between, these windows can significantly bring down your energy cost.
- Window Frames
The frame material is also an important factor in making windows energy efficient. Vinyl, fiberglass, and wooden window frames with a low U-value are highly energy efficient. Instead of using a standard aluminum frame, consider materials like timber, uPVC, or composite aluminum to get superior thermal performance.
- Window Gas Fills
The multiple glass panes of energy-efficient windows have air pockets that work as an insulator because air is a poor conductor of heat. The most advanced energy-efficient windows come with argon or krypton gas fills between window panes to better insulate your home. These gases are non-toxic, odorless, and colorless, as well as great insulators.
- Window Spacers
There is a spacer system inside the window where the glass seals to the window frame. The spacers are installed at the perfect distance between glass panes to provide structural integrity, as well as increase the thermal performance of the window. The high-performing spacers can better insulate the windowpane edges that help in minimizing the heat transfer.
Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows
When it comes to buying replacement windows, it’s tempting to pick conventional windows because of their low price. The energy-efficient windows may cost you 15% more than traditional windows. Even if high-quality, energy-efficient windows are expensive, the benefits they provide in the long run worth the initial investment. Check out some amazing benefits of installing energy-efficient windows in your home or office.
- Energy and Cost Savings
The effective energy-efficient windows form a barrier against cold weather so that your home stays warm in the winter. During summers, these windows protect your interior from the blazing heat and maintain a pleasant temperature with little air conditioning. The windows with a low U-factor prevent air leakage and ensure minimal condensation which can help you in saving money on your heating or cooling bill. The reduction in air and heat transfer means your heating and cooling units don’t need to work hard. By reducing the load on your HVAC system, you can save energy and thereby cost of electricity usage. The thermally insulated windows with a low-E coating and a low U-factor can help you save up to 25% on your heating costs. Likewise, during summers you don’t need to spend extra money to keep the AC running overtime. The low-E coated windows can minimize the solar heat entering the rooms.
- Better Lighting and View
The energy-efficient windows not only allow keep your home at a comfortable temperature but also ensures the proper flow of natural light. The traditional tinting and glazing solutions that were used to reduce solar radiation hinders the flow of sunlight. But the latest windows with a low-E coating can prevent the unwanted heat from entering the home without compromising the amount of daylight or the view from your windows. This special coating only blocks out the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can damage rugs, carpets, wood, fabrics, and furniture.
- Reduced Condensation and Outside Noise
The basic purpose of energy-efficient windows is to increase the thermal comfort level of your home both during the heating and cooling seasons. Besides increasing your home comfort and reducing energy costs, these windows also reduce condensation and outside noise. Condensation and frost is a serious problem faced by traditional windows that causes mold and contributes to rotting of wooden window frames. But when you install energy-efficient windows, you longer have to worry about condensation or mold issues. Moreover, these windows also have innate soundproofing ability. If you’re annoyed by the street noise, the advanced triple-pane energy-efficient windows can be perfect for your home.