What’s in a Window: What to Look for in an Energy-Efficient Window

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Your windows play a big part in your home’s energy efficiency.  A recent study conducted by the United States government indicate that, in most homes, more than 30% of heat loss is caused by faulty windows, accounting for up to 25% of your home’s heating and cooling bills for the year. With that in mind, it becomes more important that you make sure your windows are in good shape.  If you’re already due for a replacement, no thanks to cracked panes, damaged frames, and drafts, then you should consider choosing new windows that are energy-efficient.

Qualities of an Energy-Efficient Window

Frame Material

Window frame material affects how fast heat can pass through a window. With wood being expensive, and metal frames heating or cooling too fast, vinyl becomes a very attractive option for energy efficiency as it has good insulating capabilities and resistance to temperature changes. It also doesn’t hurt that aside from being highly functional, vinyl can also look good, contributing to a home’s overall appeal.

What to Look for in an Energy-Efficient Window1

Multiple Window Panes

Modern multiple-pane windows are much more energy-efficient than older single-pane ones.  Simply adding a second pane boostsa window’s insulatingproperties, helping cut down on the amount of electricity used by a home each year by stabilizing indoor temperature. Additionally, multi-pane windows are also much more effective at blocking noise coming from outside, letting you enjoy better peace and quiet just by getting a replacement.

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Low-Emissivity Glass

By means of a microscopic layer of metallic oxides, low-emissivity – or Low-E – glass blocks out a large amount of the ultraviolet light that a clear window pane would otherwise let in, which not only adds to the heat levels in your house but can also fade your furniture in the long run.  This protective layer also helps to keep heat from escaping your home during the colder months, keeping heating needs down, all while not interfering with a window’s ability to let in natural light.

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Gas Fill

Window glass itself isn’t just what’s responsible for providing insulation; rather, it’s the frame, low-E coating and gas fill between multiple panes that work together to give a window insulating properties. Made of argon or krypton, the inert gas used to fill the space between panes enhances the effects of each component, amplifying what each one can contribute to a window. Gas fills also improve soundproofing and help keep frost and condensation at bay. Argon and krypton are clear so gas fills don’t affect visibility for a window.

Finding the Right Replacement

Replacing a window is something no one looks forward to because of the cost and inconvenience it can bring. However, doing so with energy-efficient options ensures your home insulation stays top-notch, guaranteeing comfort and savings (in the form of a lower electricity bill!) for you for the years to come. To make the most out of investing in replacements though, trust only a reputable contractor with your needs.

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Author Bio:

In addition to leading Nuss Construction for over 40 years, Robert Carp has been a volunteer firefighter; President of Ducks Unlimited, a wetlands and waterfowl conservation group; and a past president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.  Currently, his main passion is sharing his deep home improvement experience and working with his daughter, Tammy.

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