The Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows
Homeowners wondering whether or not to replace windows should consider the many benefits of the new types of replacement windows on the market.
New advances in window technology make it a wiser move than ever to replace windows in the home. With a potential tax credit for UK residents, along with a substantial saving in heating and cooling bills for years to come, few homeowners can afford not to replace their windows today.
What Makes these Windows Efficient?
High-performance windows, in addition to containing double or even triple glazing, will now often be equipped with a low-emittance, or low-E coating. This coating, a virtually invisible deposit of metallic oxide layers on a pane of glass, works to suppress radiative heat flow, meaning that ultraviolet rays, as well as heat transference that can lead to fading and loss of heating or cooling, are avoided.
Proper installation and sealing of the windows further eliminate drafts and other potential energy losses in the home.
Benefits Available to High-Performance Windows
In addition to reducing HVAC costs for homeowners, and reducing the amount of ultraviolet light that can lead to fading of fabrics, high-performance windows contain several other benefits. Tinted windows, which have been used in the past in constructions like loft conversions, to eliminate fabric fading and reduce the number of UV rays emitted to homes, have resulted in dimmer light and decreased visibility for the homeowner. The low-E coating is virtually invisible and transparent, making for a clearer view and more light emitted to the home while still reducing UV radiation.
The effect of standing next to a window on a cold day, and suddenly feeling a cold area, even with no draft, is known as heat transference. The window is in effect, removing body heat. New high-performance windows have less heat transference, making for a more comfortable home and lower heating and cooling costs.
In addition, insulating spacers made up of argon gasses, combined with the low-E coating, mean that less condensation builds up the glass.
Things to Look for When Purchasing
Before purchasing new windows, check to make sure that the windows are Energy Star certified. The types of windows most beneficial to a home will vary widely based on location, climate and age of home, so make sure to check with various vendors to make sure that the windows being considered meet code and ratings for the region they will be used in. Ask the installer to describe the installation process, and make sure that they are knowledgeable about today’s high-performance window attributes so that they can be installed properly. Even the most efficient window can be drafty if poorly installed, so be sure to use an installer who has worked with the selected type of window before.
When installed properly, energy-efficient windows can pay for themselves in lower heating and cooling costs over a period of years. Taken together with improved comfort and visibility, along with better protection for furniture and fabrics, today’s high-performance windows are one investment every home can benefit from.