It goes without saying that windows are an essential component to any home. In addition to providing a view of the outside, they also provide ventilation, a barricade from the outside, and let in light. However, windows can also be one of the reasons you are losing a lot of energy, money, and the comfort of knowing your home is protected from the elements. Windows that are not optimized for energy efficiency via proper insulation can affect a little over a quarter of one’s budget.
For example, lots of homes feature windows containing a single layer (single-glazed windows). These types of windows are not energy efficient and prone to a host of different problems. If you have this type of window in your home you may want to consider replacing them with double or triple glazed windows, as each is much more energy efficient and will save you a lot of money in the long run. If you do not want to install replacement windows by yourself, you can always consult a window replacement company. For example, window replacement from Renewal by Andersen is an ideal option.
Though the cost savings that occur as a result of window replacement may take several years to notice, some of the immediate benefits include improved airflow, greater comfort, and a more modern aesthetic. Each of these aspects makes replacing your windows a worthwhile investment. However, it is important to keep a few things in mind prior to replacing your windows.
Fortunately, all of these steps involve easy preventative maintenance that will make your new windows look much better when you finally install them. Examples include weather-stripping, adding insulation, performing an energy audit, insulating ducts, and air sealing. All of these will minimize energy use and save you a lot of money in the long term. Here to assist you with all of this is a list of advice concerning how to select energy efficient replacement windows for your home.
Take All General Features into Account
Ensure that your windows contain weather-stripping all around them, especially at the moveable areas. Additionally, make sure they are constructed from sturdy materials that will withstand harsh weather conditions. They should also have overlapping joints and edge spacers between the glass. Before you purchase the windows, check their air leakage rating to ensure that you really will save on energy. To ensure even greater energy savings, make sure that the window you select contains at least two panes of glass and a low emissivity covering.
Check Labels and Ratings
When shopping for windows, make sure whatever you purchase bears the Energy Star and NFRC logos. You can check individual window ratings using the NFRC’s directory search feature. NFRC stands for National Fenestration Rating Council, and their purpose is to standardize window testing. After a window is manufactured, the companies who make them send them in for performance testing. Having a comprehensive understanding of different performance measures is essential prior to selecting a window.
Consider the Impacts of the Window Style
What type of window are you looking for? Are you more concerned about energy efficiency, style, or something in-between? Each different style bears distinct features that impact energy savings in different ways. Here are a few of them.
Single and double hung windows are great for ventilation. Despite this, they are also prone to leaking, which typically occurs near the center. If you select this type of window, ensure that they are adequately weather-stripped. Otherwise air will get in around the edges or through the sliding track.
Awning windows can be opened to provide exemplary ventilation. They offer great protection against leakage as long as they are properly insulated, quality gaskets are installed, and they are closed. Conversely, casement windows are very similar except they are arranged in a vertical configuration. Similar to their awning counterparts, they provide excellent protection against leakage as long as preventative measures are adhered to. However, without proper care, their outer perimeter is sometimes prone to leakage.
Sliding windows are similar to their single and double hung counterparts, though they are arranged in a sideways configuration. If you decide to go with this style, ensure that they are appropriately weather-stripped.
There are a plethora of different frame styles, each having a different aesthetic and practical impact on your home. Aluminum frames are sturdy and do not require much maintenance; however, it is important to remember that they conduct heat, which could result in energy loss. Vinyl windows are very low maintenance but expand and contract, opening up the potential for leakage. Fiberglass frames may be the way to go, as they are low maintenance, sturdy, and do not conduct heat.