Energy efficiency has become particularly important in recent years due to environmental as well as economic concerns. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the impact of their actions on the environment and are also looking for ways to save money.
Energy efficient windows allow you to do both. You will need to consider various factors when selecting an energy efficient window. These factors include design, performance rating, air leakage, material and ease of installation. Price should not be a primary consideration, because the savings derived from energy efficient windows compensates for their cost.
Many windows come in a passive solar home design, which means that the window is designed to make use of the sun to provide heat, light and temperature control. Although the exact design varies from region to region, the aim of the design is maximize heat in the winter and minimize it in the summer. If you are looking for a window to maximize heat gain, it must have a U-factor of 0.35 or less as well as a high visible light transmittance. If you want to minimize heat gain, select a window with a low-e coating. Some coatings filter out as much as 70 percent of heat transferred through a window.
The operation design of a window contributes to its rate of air leakage. Windows such as awning, casement, fixed and hopper are designed so that they can be closed tightly with little air escaping. However, if you are looking for windows that provide ventilation, hung and sliding windows are a better design for your purposes.
Energy Performance Rating
ENERGY STAR is the primary benchmark for window performance ratings. The ratings are based on the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient, as well as air leakage. It is always advisable to check the ENERGY STAR rating of any window you thinking of purchasing. It can make the difference in how much energy and money you save each year.
Windows should be installed in accordance with their design, as well as with the structure of the house. They must also be properly air-sealed by means of caulk and weatherstrip. Windows—especially energy-efficient ones—should be always installed by professionals. This ensures that the window performs to its maximum capacity and reduces the need for repairs.
Energy efficient windows are one of the best investments you can make for your home and selecting the right one should not be taken lightly. It is always good to contact a professional before selecting a window. At NorthTech Windows, we have knowledgeable staff who can help you find the right window for your home. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today for a free consultation.