What Makes a Window Energy-Efficient?

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Energy-efficient windows are all the rage these days, and why not? Shaving a significant amount of money off your energy bills while doing something positive to reduce one’s environmental footprint is always an attractive prospect, for sure. Every home typically has a lot of windows –  basically holes through which energy  in the form of cooled or heated air can easily escape if not fitted with the right product.

It’s no longer a matter of just getting new windows – it pays to be discerning about what kinds of windows to pick out. There are a lot of products out there, and deciding on which ones to choose can be pretty daunting. Don’t be disheartened, however, because this post should educate you a little on what makes a window energy-efficient.

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What Your Windows Are Made Of

A window is only as good as its parts. To find the right product, you need to take a look at — and consider — every single component that makes up the whole.

Glass

At first glance, all window glass may look the same. However, for the glass to be considered truly energy-efficient, it must feature the following:

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  • Double or multiple panes. Windows with two or more panes of glass most certainly perform a whole lot better than those with just one. Multiple panes are filled with gas in between, which gives added insulation. This enhances a window’s ability to deflect heat or cold from the outside and keep temperatures at ideal levels inside.
  • Low-emissivity coating. This special coating deflects harmful infrared light and UV rays, reducing solar heat gain and keeping heated or cooled air inside the home.
  • Gas fills. Gas-filled multiple-paned windows insulate better than windows filled with regular air.
  • Warm-edge spacers. Spacers keep the window panes separated at the correct distance from each other to enhance the window’s performance in terms of providing insulation.
  • High-quality seals. Seals ensure that the gas fills remain intact and leak-free. Seals also prevent condensation from forming in between the glass panes.

Framing

If you are after energy efficiency and practicality, pick out window frames that offer:

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  • Excellent insulation properties
  • Outstanding durability and reliability, with the ability to resist common causes of deterioration such as weather, pests, and mold, among other things
  • Ability to reduce heat transfer

Homeowners today mostly prefer vinyl frames that offer a mix of the positive characteristics of other materials. Vinyl is known to have superior thermal performance and low conductivity, so it doesn’t absorb cold in the winter or heat during summer. Moreover, vinyl doesn’t rot or rust, and  is easy to maintain. You get to save on both utility and maintenance costs.

The key to getting the best energy-efficient windows is knowing what features to look for.  If, despite the tips we’ve provided you with, you still find yourself overwhelmed by your choices, ask for help from the experts. Keep in mind, too, that proper installation is key to a windows’ performance, so make sure that your window installation is done only by trained and qualified professionals.

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Author Bio:

Jeff Jones established Jones & Associates with his wife L’Anna in 1987 with the goal of building a home improvement company anchored on quality and integrity. Under his leadership, the company has regularly been recognized by Qualified Remodelers magazine as one of the Top 500 Contractors in the United States. During his free time, Jeff enjoys outdoor activities with his family. He also serves on several community and religious boards.

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