How to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows
Winter is right around the corner, and if your home has older windows, that often means chilly drafts, cold spots, and condensation problems. More importantly, it means higher heating costs and a less comfortable home for your family. If you are considering replacement windows to address these issues, here are a few tips that can help you choose the most efficient windows for your needs.
Select the Best Glass for Your Climate
The type of glass in your windows can have a huge impact on their energy efficiency. When possible, choose dual- or triple-pane glass. These windows have more than one pane of glass with an air pocket between them, creating an insulating layer that is far more effective as a buffer against the cold than a single pane of glass. Filling that space with an inert gas like argon increases the insulating effect even more, keeping your home comfortable for longer with less energy. Low-E glass is another way to increase the efficiency of your windows. It reduces the amount of infrared radiation that can pass through your windows, which keeps your home cooler in the summer.
To maximize your energy savings, look for windows with a low U-factor, which represents the amount of heat that can be physically conducted through the window. In hot climates, choose a window with a low solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC, which indicates how much heat you can expect to gain from the sun. In cool climates where passive heating is desired during the winter, look for windows with a high SHGC.
Choosing the Best Window Frames
Wood window frames offer decent insulation, but they can easily warp, twist, and rot with exposure to the elements, and they need constant repainting and upkeep to avoid damage. Aluminum windows conduct heat easily into and out of your home. For the best efficiency, consider vinyl or fiberglass windows. Both offer great thermal performance and air sealing, plus they are low maintenance. Choose windows with insulated frames and quality warm-edge seals for the best efficiency, and choose fusion-welded frames for the best seal and greatest durability.
Selecting the Most Efficient Window Styles
If you want to keep out drafts, windows that do not open, like picture windows, are a great choice, but many homeowners enjoy a bit of a breeze and some fresh air during nice weather. For the most efficient operable windows, choose casement windows, awning windows, or hopper windows, as their seals are reliably simple and effective. Double-hung windows are more complex and require several seals to block air infiltration, as they only have one operable sash to seal.
Other Tips to Increase the Efficiency of Your Windows
Adding heavy curtains or drapes to your windows can help to seal out drafts and prevent heat loss during the winter. Simply close them at night to keep the heat contained, then open them during sunny days to take advantage of free solar heating. Inspect weatherstripping on doors and windows often and replace it as necessary to keep out drafts.
Energy-Efficient Replacement Windows From Zen Windows
Are you ready to upgrade your windows? Choose energy-efficient vinyl or fiberglass replacement windows from our team at Zen Windows. We offer a range of frame and glass options to maximize the performance of the windows for your climate, and we make the buying process as easy as possible with fast, free quotes, a hassle-free sales process, great financing options with no money down, and a lifetime warranty on all our replacement windows.