All windows are not created equal. Energy efficient windows—also referred to as energy saving windows—keep your heating and air conditioning from leaking out of your home. They improve your insulation and decrease your utilities bills. And they increase indoor comfort throughout the year, keeping temperatures consistent throughout your home.
At Approved Contractor, as homeowners ourselves, we understand how apprehensive you can feel when hiring a contractor to upgrade or repair your home. We’ve created a reliable process that’s helped over 3,000 homeowners have a home exterior that withstands the test of time. We take care of your home and treat it like our own throughout the process. And we’re a local company—so we’ll be here if you need us after your project is completed.
Overview of What Makes Windows Energy-Efficient
ENERGY STAR® windows are the standard for energy-efficient windows, and they save you on heating and air conditioning costs throughout the year. They are independently tested to certify their high performance.
When investing in new windows, understand that your selection of options can impact your window’s energy efficiency. Here are some things that make windows energy-efficient:
The measure of the rate of heat flow through your window. The more a window’s resistance to heat flow, the better it is at insulating your home. A low U-Factor signifies a higher performing window, which will decrease your utilities bills.
2. Visible Light Transmittance (VT)
The measure of how much light passes through your window into your home.
3. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
The amount of solar radiation that passes through your window into your home. The lower the SHGC number, the less solar heat gain your window allows.
4. Structural-Design Pressure (DP)
The measure of the amount of wind pressure your window can endure when it’s closed and locked.
5. Frame and Sash Materials
There are a variety of options when it comes to window frames: wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. Low-maintenance vinyl frames with thick walls improve energy savings. Wood frames, favored by historical homes, give you high thermal insulation, but require high maintenance continually. Fiberglass energy-efficient windows save you on utilities bills throughout the year. The heat of summer and the cold of winter don’t cause fiberglass windows to flex or sag like other window materials. Aluminum frames are least efficient, and not a viable choice when you’re desiring energy savings.
6. Low-E Glass
Low-E is the special coating applied to the glass in your window. It reflects infrared light and helps halt temperature transfer. It also reflects UV rays so that your furniture doesn’t fade. It helps keep the heat from entering your home while still letting the sunlight pass through.
7. Multiple Panes
Your hard-earned heating and air conditioning goes out the window with single-paned windows. Double-paned windows insulate due to the air space between the two panes of glass. Triple-paned windows add another layer of protection with a second air space and a third pane.
8. Gas Fills
Adding gas between the panes in a double- or triple-paned window boosts energy efficiency. Argon or krypton gas injected between the panes of glass add to the insulating properties of window replacements. The gas is transparent, odorless, and non-toxic.
Spacers add insulation to the edges of the glass, where they can otherwise be vulnerable to temperature transfer. Spacers not only decrease heat transfer, but also improve energy efficiency.
10. Weather Stripping
The less your window leaks, the better the energy savings. Weather stripping boosts energy efficiency, protecting your home from heating and air leaks out the window.
Benefits of Installing Energy Efficient Windows (rather than just any windows)
Energy Star Windows are extremely efficient and meet strict standards to earn this rating.
Energy Star Windows for northern climates
These are double- or triple-paned windows, and have a low U-factor. They let in the infrared light that causes heat generation, trapping warm air in homes.
Energy Star Windows for southern climates
These windows have a low U-factor, and keep heat out of your home.
Save money each year in utilities bills
When you replace your old, worn-out windows with durable windows with Energy Star ratings, you’ll save money on utilities for years to come.
Get a rebate after purchasing windows—Many locations in the country qualify for mail-in rebates for various energy-efficient replacement windows.
Increase Your Home’s Resale Value
Window installation doesn’t only save you on energy consumption; it also increases your home’s resale value by as much as $12,000. So if you plan to resell you home, replacement windows can boost your sale price significantly.
Decrease Outside Noise
Enjoy a quieter home with window replacements. They help decrease noise intrusion from the outdoors including street noise, aircraft noise, and heavy equipment noise.
Lower Your Monthly Utilities Bills
Decrease monthly bills with energy efficient replacement windows. Get outstanding performance on your new windows for years to come, and offset your carbon footprint in the process. By investing in energy-efficient windows, you’re living a more eco-friendly life, which is a great feeling.
It’s wise to get an energy audit. It helps uncover any leaky seals or bad insulation you may have. Energy audits help you to gain knowledge that will help you prioritize the home improvements you need. That way, when you get energy efficient windows installed, your whole home will be aligned with the same goal: energy efficiency.
Energy-efficient windows are a wise investment when installed correctly by a reputable contractor. Take time to ask friends and neighbors for referrals, read reviews, and check out any contractor you’re considering with the Better Business Bureau. Ask questions to make sure you understand the details about the window material you’re choosing, the installation process, and timeline.