Windows, outer doors, and the insulation within your walls and roof can drastically affect the overall energy efficiency of your home. If you’re trying to reduce your energy use and potentially lower your utility bills, installing energy efficient windows can help you meet your goals.
Today, Paramount Siding and Windows in Denver provides insight on how to take advantage of every benefit associated with new windows for your home, from improving the ambiance of a room with added light to saving money on your energy bill and improving your resale value.
The first thing a homeowner should understand is that the effect your windows have on your home’s energy use depends on four factors: window design, use of coatings, window locations throughout the home, as well as installation method. Get all four correct, and you’re well on your way.
For colder climates, large windows on the south-facing side of your home will allow for maximum light and heat to enter the home during the colder winter months when you need it. During the summer, you can restrict this heat entry with the use of overhangs, retractable awnings or shutters.
For warmer climates, larger windows on the north facing side of a home will limit the solar heat that enters. Remember that every home is different, and you will also need to consider the presence of trees, walls or nearby houses that can block sunlight from specific directions during part of the day.
Once you determine which way windows face in your home, you can then decide on installing energy efficient windows with features such as double or even triple panes, as well as coatings. You may even wish to relocate or resize your windows. Here at Paramount, we can take on any project to help you.
Window Design Styles
The design of the window itself can have a big effect on its overall efficiency. Hinged windows, including awning, casement and hopper styles all close with the sash pressed against the frame. This prevents most air leakage and offers better efficiency concerning temperature control within the home.
Single and double-hung windows, as well as horizontally sliding windows operate in such a way that they inherently allow more air leakage. Fixed windows are completely airtight when they have been installed correctly but don’t allow for optional ventilation.
Other aspects of design to consider when installing energy efficient windows include optional double or triple glazing. Multiple panes of glass placed parallel to each other are much more efficient at preventing heat transfer than a single pane.
Increasing this efficiency further, the space between the panes can be filled with a gas such as Argon, which has a thermal conductivity that’s 34% lower than air.
For optimal insulation, the spacers used to keep each pane of glass in place should be made from an insulating material such as wood or rubber and not a highly conductive material such as metal.
Windows are becoming more technologically advanced each year. Now, when installing energy efficient windows, a Low-E coating can be applied directly to the inner or outer surfaces of your window panes. This coating is a very thin layer of metal oxide, invisible to the naked eye. The function of the Low-E coating is to reflect heat while allowing the complete passing of light through the glass.
For warm climates, this coating can be applied on the outside of the window to prevent the sun from overheating your home. In cold climates, the coating is placed on the inside of the innermost pane, to reflect heat back into the home and reduce energy waste.
You can invest in the most technologically advanced windows with high-grade insulating materials and place them in strategic locations, but if you hire a disreputable company, installing energy efficient windows may not produce the results you want.
Make sure experienced professionals install your new windows. If you are simply replacing old windows with new ones of the same size, the installation will be relatively easy.
However, if you choose to make new openings for your windows, the crew should be capable of dealing with altering the structure by masonry or woodwork, replacing insulation and working with your exterior siding. Windows must be properly air sealed and caulked to achieve optimum performance.
Improving Existing Windows
If your budget doesn’t cover installing energy efficient windows, there are some changes you can make to existing windows to improve their insulation and overall energy efficiency.
Storm windows installed on the interior or exterior of your windows are a relatively inexpensive and fast fix if you have air leakage from your existing windows. They can help lower your heating and cooling costs, as well as boost the resistance of your windows against intruders and damage from storms.
Caulking and weather-stripping can also be effective in reducing air leakage. Caulking can be used to fill cracks, gaps and split joints around the window frame. Rubber weather-stripping can be installed where there are movable parts to the window, giving a tighter seal.
Low-E coating and other glass treatments can also be applied to existing windows. You can even your local window professional for more tips to improve the energy efficiency of existing windows.
Taking into consideration the features mentioned above when installing energy efficient windows can boost your efforts to greatly reduce your home’s energy consumption. This will not only make a major difference in your utility bills, but it also helps prevent long-term energy waste. You will also increase the value of your home and make it much more attractive to potential buyers down the road.
If you’re ready to get started, contact Paramount Siding and Windows in Denver. We offer a range of services including new windows, siding and more. We’d be happy to schedule a free home consultation where we can discuss how to reduce your use by installing energy efficient windows.