If you have sky-high electric bills or just want to minimize the amount you pay, you should look at your windows and doors. Upgrading these can boost your home’s energy efficiency, cutting costs in both heating and cooling while enhancing the appearance of your interior and exterior.
Window Components That Contribute to Energy Efficiency
Windows are not all the same. In fact, if you live in an older home, you likely have inefficient windows. The frame material, glazing, and spacers all impact the window’s U-factor, which is the transmission rate of non-solar heat. For some windows, the U-factor only refers to the efficiency of the glass, but the NFRC U-rating measures the entire window’s efficiency. Lower factors mean that you have more energy efficient windows.
Among frames, you’ll find several types. Metal or aluminum frames require a thermal break between the sash and inside and outside of the frame. Without this break, the metal will quickly conduct heat, raising the window’s U-factor.
Wood and composite frames both provide excellent thermal protection. Composite is often formed from particleboard or other wood bases, and it is more durable than wood. Solid wood frames typically require more maintenance to keep them looking good.
Vinyl and fiberglass both can have sections filled with insulation to improve their thermal performance. When choosing these lightweight options, always select the insulated options over uninsulated for a lower U-factor.
Another major factor that impacts window efficiency is the type of glass used. Old homes once used single panes of glass in the windows, which allowed a lot of heat to escape. Today, windows typically have insulated glass with two or three panes with air between them for insulation.
Another way the glass can increase the energy efficiency of the window is with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings. These coatings often go on the windows during manufacturing and can dramatically lower the U-factor of the window.
Spacers are gases that fill the air spaces between the layers of the windows. Typically, these are inert gases such as krypton or argon. The gases help increase insulation of the windows, maintain the distance of the glass layers, and prevent moisture and air leaks.
Find Everything You Need in Energy Efficient Windows
When you need to make your home a better place to live with lower heating and cooling costs, upgrade your windows to more efficient models. At Best Windows & Doors in Orange County, all our windows have the essential attributes of energy efficiency – low-e coated three times, dual panes, and tight seals. Browse our options and let us know how we can upgrade your home’s appearance and efficiency with our windows.