If you want to reduce your energy consumption, energy-efficient windows are one of the ways to achieve your goal. Energy-efficient windows minimize your use of artificial temperature control within your property. In addition, technological progress has made it possible to design better insulation in modern windows than in conventional windows.
Your windows have various components, such as frames, glass, and hardware. The components work together to provide a given performance level. Below you can find factors that enhance the energy efficiency of your windows.
1. Low-e Coats
Low-e (low-emissivity) glass has a transparent coat to reflect infrared and UV rays and still let in enough light. Low-e coats trap the heat in your home during winter and keep the heat out during summer. As an added advantage, UV protection reduces the rate at which the colors of your interior and furniture fade.
In northern climates where you might desire higher temperatures, low-e coats trap the heat energy within your home. As a result, you get a greenhouse effect that keeps your home warm in the cooler months.
Whereas low-e windows are more expensive, they reduce 30% to 50% energy loss. The low utility bills you pay in the long run outweigh the extra initial cost you incur. To create low-e windows, manufacturers apply the coat during production. However, the coats are also available in the market. Therefore, if you want to add a coat for improved energy efficiency, a window expert will guide you on how to go about it.
2. Multiple Panes
Windows lose energy through the glass, but double and triple pane windows are engineered to prevent heat transfer. Unfortunately, a single pane doesn’t offer much insulation, so you lose a high amount of heat energy with single panes. The result is a strain on your AC to maintain comfortable temperatures and a rise in utility bills.
The ideal energy-efficient solution minimizes all forms of heat transfer. Multiple-pane windows consist of more than one sheet of glass sandwiched together with spacers. The two or three layers create gas pockets between the panes to increase thermal performance.
Double-pane and triple-pane window choices depend on your budget, needs, and location. Triple panes are expensive, and your investment could take decades to pay off. Nevertheless, if you live in an area that overworks your AC, triple panes are worth the investment.
If your window is energy-efficient, you won’t reap maximum benefits unless your window frames are also energy-efficient. Metallic frames like aluminum are less efficient and thus aren’t considered a great choice. The best insulators are vinyl and fiberglass frames. Wood comes in second, more so composite wood frames.
High-quality frame materials reduce heat transfer, insulate your windows, and cause more efficient temperature control. The frame’s durability also affects the long-term efficiency of your window. For example, a durable frame shouldn’t warp or swag so you won’t encounter drafts later.
4. Gas Fills and Warm-Edge Spacers
Non-toxic, odorless, and colorless gasses such as krypton and argon fill multiple layers of your window. Argon boasts a more common use because of a lower price and excellent performance in the primary half-inch space. On the flip side, window manufacturers use krypton when the space is thin, like a quarter an inch. The gas fills the space between panes to provide better insulation for your windows.
The edges of your window’s glass packs are vulnerable to heat and cooling loss. A warm-edge spacer keeps an appropriate distance between the glass panes. The spacer also creates a seal around the intersection of the glass panes and the window frame. As a result, you get space for pressure differences and thermal expansion so transfer through the contacts of the frame and panes gets minimized.
Energy-efficient windows are only a great investment with proper installation. Don’t hesitate to contact 1st Choice Windows and Siding for your window project needs. You will get experienced professionals and customized designs that perfectly match your needs.