Components of Energy-Efficient Windows
As homeowners, we have heard about the benefits of replacing our old windows with new, energy-efficient windows. However, many of us don’t understand what actually makes windows efficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, new and energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs. Today’s windows are far superior to those of the past, and the sooner you make the upgrade, the sooner you will see big results.
Let’s review the main components of energy-efficient windows, all of which can result in a more comfortable and efficient home.
Component 1: Multiple-Paned Window Glass
In Florida, we don’t want the heat from the sun, but we do want the lovely natural light. Luckily, advances in window technology let us have both. Did you know that many older homes only have single-paned windows? Single panes allow warm and cool air to easily escape. Today’s energy-efficient windows have at least two panes, with an air-or-gas filled space between the panes. By installing multiple-paned windows, your thermal insulation will improve drastically. We regularly recommend ENERGY STAR qualified windows for maximum energy efficiency, increased impact resistance, and sound insulation.
Component 2: Coatings & Gas Fills
For even greater energy efficiency, we can add special coatings and gas fills to windows. Low-emissivity coatings, also called low-E, and reflective coatings will minimize the amount of UV and infrared light that enter the home. This regulates the inside temperature and protects personal items such as artwork, furniture, and upholstery. Many energy-efficient windows also have argon or krypton gas injected between the panes. These colorless, odorless, non-toxic gases offer improved insulation because gas is heavier than air, making it more difficult for warm or cool air to pass into the house. These simple changes will allow you to rely less on your heating/cooling system, creating energy savings and a more efficient home.
Component 3: Window Frame
The material used to a make a window frame is a key consideration for energy-efficient windows. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of the various types of frame materials because there is a big difference in the insulation value of each. For example, vinyl is a popular choice because it is energy-efficient, durable, and low maintenance. Other frame choices include fiberglass, aluminum, wood, and composite. Choosing a quality window frame can improve the thermal resistance of the window and contribute to its overall energy efficiency.
Component 4: Window Spacer
You have likely heard of the previous components, but you may be unfamiliar with a window spacer. As we mentioned earlier, energy-efficient windows have at least two panes of glass. A spacer is responsible for maintaining the proper distance between the glass panes and also holds the panes together. The spacer is fundamental in creating the insulating air space where the gas fill can be added to protect the home from heat or cooling loss. Effective spacers provide greater insulation, reduce energy loss, and ensure that your home maintains a comfortable temperature.
Let’s Discuss Upgrading to Energy-Efficient Windows
Understanding how windows affect your home’s energy efficiency will give you an advantage over rising energy costs. The experts at Conner can tell you how efficient your current windows are and how much new, energy-efficient windows can improve your home’s expenditure. Call us at 863.647.1561 to schedule your free, no-pressure estimate today. We stand by our work and provide a lifetime labor and material warranty with all of our window installations and replacements.