Energy efficiency all over the home is one of the biggest concerns homeowners have today. In fact, according to a recent study by the Demand Institute, it is the number one concern of households across the United States, with 71% of respondents saying they place a great deal of importance on the feature. However, while the majority believe energy efficiency is important, just 35% felt their homes were actually energy-efficient.
There are two primary reasons why homeowners are concerned about energy efficiency: first, they always want to be as practical as possible with their energy consumption, and second, they want to have their share of taking care of the environment. Since energy has become both costly and damaging to the environment, homeowners are looking for solutions to fix these problems, one of which is to install energy-efficient replacement windows.
The Problem with Old, Faulty Windows
DAMAGED FRAMES: Rain, snow, and other elements can cause cracks on window frames. These can lead to air leakages that disrupt indoor temperature stability and cause higher energy bills.
Old, inefficient windows are main passageways through which necessary heat escapes houses during the colder months. Even though the walls, ceilings, attics, and basements are well-insulated, you can still deal with temperature drops or consume a lot of energy than necessary if you have poor-performing windows. Why? Old units usually have frames made of wood, an organic and natural material. This means that they can soak up moisture from rain and snow, which can lead to damaged frames. They can also shrink and crack in scorching temperatures. When they do expand back, the frames will not fall exactly into the same place as before, producing gaps through which air leaks can occur.
Studies have shown that up to 30% of the overall energy loss in a home is through inefficient windows. When necessary heat leaves your interior spaces, your home will feel chilly and uncomfortable for the most part, pushing your heating system to work doubly hard to regulate the temperature indoors. To solve this problem, many homeowners simply choose to renew their windows’ weatherstripping and seals. Even if you do that, however, you’ll soon realize that replacing your old windows altogether with some energy-efficient ones is the best solution for your energy efficiency woes.
How Energy-Efficient Windows Help You Save Money
EXCELLENT THERMAL BARRIERS: Energy-efficient windows have advanced framing materials and glass packages that help reduce heat transfer to prevent your heating system from being overworked.
Your windows play a key role in improving your home’s energy efficiency, so if your existing ones are old and drafty, you might be paying higher monthly bills than you should. Fortunately, you can now take advantage of modern windows and their energy-saving features to help cut your costs. If you’re in the market for energy-efficient replacement windows, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with the features that boost their energy performance.
Start by understanding today’s innovative glass coatings. With the advent of modern technology, more and more window manufacturing companies are able to meet homeowner’s energy efficiency demands through advanced coatings, such as low-emissivity (low-E) ones. Low-E coating works by reflecting back infrared light to limit unwanted heat coming in through a window and keep indoor heat in making homes warm in winter and cool in summer. Stable indoor temperature eases the strain on your HVAC system, preventing it from overworking and consuming energy needlessly to keep your electricity bill down.
The frame is also an important factor in windows’ energy efficiency. Since it can be vulnerable to harsh conditions, you need to look for a material that can withstand such difficulties. One ideal option is vinyl. Frames made from the material exhibit the best qualities you can get for your new windows. For one, they are low-maintenance and durable, standing up to even the most intense weather in the region. Apart from saving you money on maintenance, their maximum insulation also helps reduce air leaks, allowing you to save on utility costs as well.
Frequently Asked Questions on Energy-Efficient Windows
Want to learn more about energy-efficient windows? Here are some frequently asked questions (and their respective answers) about the window option:
- How do you differentiate energy-efficient windows from standard ones?
The easiest way to tell apart energy-efficient windows from standard ones is to look for the ENERGY STAR sticker. Even among themselves, energy-efficient windows will differ in performance but the presence of an ENERGY STAR sticker signifies that you are at least automatically looking at an energy-efficient unit.
ENERGY STAR LABEL: If you’re in the market for new windows, look for the ENERGY STAR label to help you recognize your most energy-efficient options.
- What is ENERGY STAR?
A part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ENERGY STAR works toward improving the energy efficiency of residential and commercial properties through energy-saving products and practices. They build partnerships and develop objective measurement tools to help install energy-efficient features in homes and industrial buildings across the country. ENERGY STAR products are certified based on testing in EPA-recognized laboratories, as well as the off-the-shelf verification testing every year. When a window has the ENERGY STAR label on it, it means that it has passed the strict energy efficiency requirements set by the organization.
- Apart from reduced energy costs, what other benefits does installing energy-efficient windows offer?
There’s more to energy-efficient windows than meets the eye. Aside from helping you reduce your energy consumption, they can also add to the beauty of your home. They are just like other windows, after all, in that they come in numerous styles, colors, and sizes, making it easier for homeowners to choose a design that suits their needs. This results in windows that improve curb appeal, which can also enhance property value.
Energy-efficient windows can play a huge part in lowering a home’s energy costs. Thanks to their innovative features working together, however, the window option also improves overall indoor comfort and curb appeal while minimizing energy loss. To help you zero in on the right choice, don’t hesitate to consult with a reputable window expert in your area.
Todd Kroll has been vice president of Kroll Window for more than three decades. Although he’s worked in the construction industry for so long, he believes that there is still something new to see and experience every day. He currently handles the company’s marketing and promotion activities, a job that he believes is synonymous with sharing what you love to do. Check out the company blog for updates from Todd!