Windows are the main area from where heat is lost. In case you desire to make savings on your utility bills or keep your home quieter and warmer, or decrease your carbon footprint, then you should consider replacing your old windows with energy efficient window units or glazing.
Enhancing the Energy Efficiency of Your Home with Windows
The two main types of windows available are double-glazed and triple-glazed windows. Double glazing comes as two glass panes with an air gap separating the two sheets. The gap enhances insulation.
On the other hand, triple glazing options come with three glass panes. Most people assume that triple glazing is the most efficient option. However, this is not factual. Both options enhance energy efficiency in your property.
There are several energy saving window options you can find. They come in different frame materials and styles. The efficiency of your windows at keeping heat in your home during winter and away during summer depends on several factors.
The main factors are the amount of direct sunlight that can pass through the window and their efficiency in preventing air from moving into or out of the room. Most manufacturers usually rate their glass windows as energy efficient.
Windows rated as “A” are obviously the best in terms of efficiency. Thus, check the energy label of the window carefully before buying the window.
Benefits of Double-Glazed Windows
- Reduced energy bills- In case you replace your single glazed window units with double glazing, you’ll make annual energy savings of around $175.
- Reduced carbon footprint- By installing energy efficient window units, you’ll stand a better chance of reducing your carbon footprint. Carbon dioxide is mostly produced by burning fossil fuels with the aim of producing energy. Carbon emissions usually contribute to the problem of climate change. Thus, installing more efficient windows will reduce the burning of fossil fuels, thus contribute towards lower carbon levels.
- Enhanced comfort in your home- By using energy efficient glazing, you’ll lose less heat during winter, thus making your home more comfortable.
- Reduced noise levels- Properly sealed and thicker glass windows will reduce the noise that enters your home.
- Less condensation- If you install better windows, condensation buildup will be reduced.
Nevertheless, individual savings from one home to another may vary largely depending on the window material, type and installation used.
Potential Savings on Energy Bills
A typical semi-detached or three-bedroom home that uses gas heating may save around $175 annually. Arriving at this figure is based on the assumption that regular window glazing is replaced with double glazing that are B-rated.
However, individual savings may vary based on the size of windows, location of your home, costs of fuel for heating and other details. Besides making monetary savings, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by saving around 680kg of carbon annually.
Choosing Replacement Windows Ideal for Your Home
Since there are multiple choices to select from, it may be challenging to decide on the best windows for your home. You can make the selection process easier by asking these questions:
What’s the energy rating of the windows?
You’ll need to check the efficiency rating of a specific window by checking at the energy rating sticker or label. Energy regulatory bodies endorse windows with an efficiency rating of at least “B”.
A higher rating will translate to more efficiency. Although it’s not a must for a manufacturer to label their windows, labelled options will surely be a better choice. All in all, go for windows with higher rating to get more value for your money.
What glazing type do I need?
Most double glazed units have an air gap of around 16mm in width between the panes. You can also get triple glazed units. Also, consider getting more energy efficient units by going for A-rated type of double or triple-paned options.
What type of window glass do I choose?
If you want to get the best efficiency, then go for double glazed units with a low-emissivity type of glass. These units come with an almost invisible layer of metal oxide in the middle pane. The coating reduces heat transfer while still allowing heat and light to penetrate.
What’s contained between the multiple panes?
Windows that have advanced energy efficiency capabilities usually have special gasses filling the gap between multiple glass panes.
The gas used is an inert type of gas like krypton, xenon or argon. The gasses enhance insulation by further reducing heat transfer.
What separates the panes?
Double glazed units usually come with edge spacers. The spacers prevent the panes of glass from touching each other.
More efficient units have spacers that don’t conduct heat by using non-metallic spacers. These spacers are often known as warm edge spacers.
What’s the best type of window frame?
Choose a frame that will fit your needs and taste. Material will not much of a problem since there are energy efficient options with each material type. You can choose between these materials:
- UPCV- This is a commonly used material since it’s recyclable and long-lasting.
- Wooden frames- They have minimal impact on the environment but demand more maintenance.
- Steel and aluminum frames- These frames are slim in nature and extremely enduring. They’re also recyclable.
- Composite frames- They come with an inner wood frame covered with aluminum or plastic to decrease their demand for maintenance and to enhance their weatherproofing.
What kind of ventilation do I need?
Since replacement windows come with airtight seals, there might be a buildup of condensation. Thus, without good ventilation, the condensation may accumulate and moisture may cause damage.
Most windows with high energy efficiency ratings come with trickle vents in their frames to control ventilation.
Replacing and Maintaining Windows
Double glazed window units can last for 20 or more years. Thus, you may not have to upgrade them sooner. Therefore, it’s worth installing such windows since you’ll get more value for your money.
Moreover, maintaining replacement windows is not a major concern, but it’s important. For instance, the sealing between the double panes may fail and this may lead to buildup of condensation between them. Also, you might have to replace the glass.
You might easily replace the glass without replacing the frame. However, only trust authorized glaziers to do the installation or repair work to ensure everything is done professionally and according to local building codes.
By replacing older, less efficient windows with more efficient units, you’ll save more money while still reducing your carbon footprint.
This will be a great investment since the value of your home will also be increased. Thus, the investment will pay for itself. Also, your home will be more comfortable regardless of the weather condition outside.
Buying double glazed or triple-paned window units with high efficiency rating will be a smart way of reducing your energy bills and thereby creating a better environment.
Contact Majestic Glass Glaziers for more information.