For most, windows are square-shaped fixtures on the walls, present only for increasing the curb appeal of their houses and serve no purpose. The truth is far from this misconception. There is a multitude of different window shapes available that provide a different look to your house as well as are a vital part of your house that help you bring down the energy costs. Windows act as a barrier that stops the outside air from entering (and air inside the house from leaving) making it easy for your thermostat to maintain the temperature inside. The less your thermostat has to work to keep your house comfortably warm or cold, the less energy is consumed which is an environmental-friendly act and you have your windows to thank for.
Assuming you read this far, it is an indication that you are a responsible homeowner and considering window replacement services to make your home more energy-efficient. In this article, we shall give you a complete rundown about choosing the correct window design, choosing the right frame materials, glass, and planned installation to make your replacement windows more energy-efficient.
Understanding Energy Efficiency in Windows
Windows are generally a frame with glass placed in between. The glass prevents outside sound, air, and other elements from entering inside. It also traps the air inside the house and thereby allows the room to remain hot or cold as per the thermostat. You can also add a special covering to reflect harmful UV radiations that can damage the fabrics such as curtains and furniture. Traditional windows made of wood and glass are energy efficient but not as much as windows made from energy-efficient materials. The benefits of using energy-efficient windows are:
A study determined that 25-30% of residential energy is consumed to regulate the process of heat loss and gain through windows. That is almost 1/4th of your residential energy usage! Traditional windows can become non-efficient over time due to wear & tear and end up increasing the heat loss and gain. So, your thermostat needs to put in more effort to maintain the temperature inside. Energy-efficient windows are made with sturdy and insulating materials that trap the heat and special coating can further reduce the heat exchange.
Even though window replacement services in Cincinnati are expensive, the cost of energy-efficient windows installation is recovered through reduced energy bills. Moreover, they are less susceptible to breaking due to wear & tear, and reinforced glasses are tough to break, there are no hidden repair costs. So, in the longer run, you save money.
Increase the curb appeal & resale value
As we stated earlier, windows improve the aesthetics of the house’s exterior and play a major role in the resale value of your house. Broken and cracked windows are a sign of neglect and underlying repairs and discourage buyers from considering the house. By replacing existing windows with energy-efficient windows, you improve the resale value of the house and recover the initial expenses from the sale.
Reduce UV exposure
Natural light greatly improves the liveliness of a place and makes it look larger than it actually is. Allowing natural light as the source of light allows you to reduce the need for using artificial lights (thereby reducing energy costs further). On the other hand, unless you block out the harmful UV radiation in sunlight, natural light can fade out your carpets, sofas, curtains, and walls.
Double pane and triple-paned glasses have noble gases like argon-filled between a glass sandwich that blocks out the UV radiation without sacrificing natural light. You can also apply a polarizing sheet above your window but it will block out natural light as well and should only be used in rooms with overhead sun exposure.
How to choose the best energy-efficient Windows?
Keep in mind the following conditions while selecting an energy-efficient window for your home.
With the rising need for energy-efficient windows and creating smart homes (and cities), windows come with an energy efficiency rating as shown below.
(Image Source: National Fenestration Rating Council USA)
The rating is calculated based on different grading criteria such as:
- U-Factor – a measurement of the window’s ability to move and conduct heat. The lower U-factor rating is an indication of a good window that can trap heat in.
- Solar Heat Gain Co-efficient – a measurement of how well a product can resist unwanted heat gain. The lower rating is an indication of a window that can keep the excessive heat out.
- Visible Transmittance – How well it transmits natural sunlight. The higher number is the better the light transmitter
- Air Leakage – how much air ‘leaks’ through the window into the room. The lower number indicates better air sealing products.
Correct Window Frame
The aforementioned energy efficiency rating changes for different materials and the window frames also play a part in making the window effective. The frame material needs to be thermally insulating as much as possible. Wooden frames are the worst thermal conductors and hence have been used for ages but they are prone to water damages, rotting, as well as pests. Aluminum frames are sturdy, light-weight but fail at thermal insulation without additional insulation processes. Vinyl or composite wooden frames are good thermal insulators that don’t have any major downside except the costs.
Number of panes
Double and triple-paned glasses are best for thermal insulation but the overall glass thickness and cost inflates as you go for more panes. Those serious about energy saving, want only double-paned glass but those staying in colder climates need to go for a higher number of panes. Ideally, you can also go for window panes with a transparent coating in between two panes.
Talk to the experts
You can bypass all the considerations above by talking to an expert Window replacement Cincinnati such as C.H.I roofings. With all the cumulative experience of working in the industry for window repairing and window installation services, we have a vast knowledge about the different types of energy-efficient windows and can also suggest a window variant that would work best for your house.
Windows replacement costs money and most homeowners tend to cut corners by avoiding them until it costs them twice the original cost of installing energy efficiency. We hope the above article would have made you aware of choosing the best energy-efficient replacement windows for your home.