Going Green – Energy Efficient Windows With Great ROIApril 26, 2019 2:15 pm
Energy efficient windows are a great way to both reduce the carbon footprint of your home and boost your ROI. They allow your home to stay comfortable throughout the year, flooding the rooms with natural light, and even protect features in your home like your furniture from fading due to sunlight. All of these benefits make these features appealing to future buyers who might be willing to pay a little extra for them.
But before you enjoy the benefits of energy efficient windows, let’s talk about what to look for.
Energy Efficiency Ratings
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) was established to rate windows on key energy efficient criteria to determine how much benefit they offer your home. If you’ve seen an NFRC energy performance label on a new window, you may have noticed number percentages in four or five different boxes. These are the ratings you’re likely to see:
- U-Factor measures the amount of heat that escapes your home through your windows on a scale of .2 to 1.2. The lower the number, the tighter the seal.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures the amount of heat that is conducted through the window from outside on a scale of 0-1. The lower the number, the less heat gets through.
- Visible Transmittance tells you how much light the window lets in on a scale of 0-1. Here, you want higher numbers.
- Air Leakage rates the amount of air that seeps in through the glass into your home on a scale of .1 to .3. Again, lower numbers are ideal here.
You may also see Condensation Resistance, which measures the window’s ability to resist indoor window condensation, which can sometimes occur when cold air from outside meets the warm air outside. Though much of this can be determined in AL, CR measures this resistance on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the number, the better the resistance.
But what does a window with those energy efficient features look like? What is it made of? Often it comes down to materials and construction. At EcoView, we ensure that our energy efficient windows are top quality and designed for energy efficiency. Here are some of the materials and features you’ll find:
- Vinyl frames. Vinyl has excellent natural thermal performance and it’s durable enough to resist rotting and warping, no matter what the weather throws at it. It’s one of the more affordable materials available, though homeowners should always be careful to choose high quality vinyl, as cheap vinyl can sometimes have cheap quality.
- Multiple panes.The use of multiple glass panes are used to strengthen the insulation of your windows and lessen heat loss and air leakage. Non-toxic argon gas is placed in between panes to slow the flow of air from one side to the other.
- Insulating glass. Our windows offer insulating glass from SolarFlect™ to help protect your home from harmful UV rays that can fade your furniture or hardwood floors.
Energy efficient windows come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few window styles that are known to be more energy efficient than others.
- Double hung windows have multiple sashes, offering easy operation and ventilation, as well as a tighter seal when closed.
- Casement windows open from the side through use of a hand crank, and fresh air filters in on a nice day much like the sail of a ship. When casement windows are closed, every part of the window is tightly sealed within the frame. Awning windows have a similar construction, but they open outward from the bottom.
- Picture windows aren’t designed to open at all, but instead are fixed, offering only natural lighting and outdoor views. When it comes to a tight seal, these can’t be beat.
- Slider windows function like single or double hung windows, with two sashes, but they’re shaped horizontally, thus allowing the sashes to slide from one side to the other. These are popular windows for kitchens, bathrooms, or really anywhere in your home and let in plenty of light.
This spring is the perfect time to make energy efficient upgrades to your home, starting with your windows. Contact EcoView today for more information or a free quote.
Tags: energy efficiency, energy efficient windows, replacement windows, window replacement