An Insider’s Guide to Choosing Energy Efficient Windows for Your Home

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Windows will provide your home with warmth, light and ventilation. Yet, they can also have a negative impact on your home’s energy efficiency. By installing energy-efficient windows, you can significantly reduce your energy spend. But if you have a limited budget, there are several ways to improve the energy efficiency of your existing windows.

How to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Existing Windows

Some of the best ways to enhance the energy efficiency of your existing windows are adding storm windows, weatherstripping, caulking, and using window coverings and treatments.

Storm windows can help improve comfort by reducing air leakage. Weatherstripping and caulking can also minimize air leakage. Use weatherstripping for building components that move like operable windows and doors, and caulking for stationary gaps or cracks.

Window coverings and treatments can reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. However, some window treatments are not effective when it comes to reducing infiltration and air leakage.

How to Choose Your New Energy-Efficient Windows

If your home has old inefficient windows, replacing them with energy-efficient ones can be your best option. Energy-efficient windows are a worthy investment because they offer lower cooling and heating costs.

When they are properly selected and installed by a reliable window manufacturer, energy-efficient windows can minimize your cooling, heating and lighting costs. Enhancing your home window performance involves careful design, selection and installation.

Design

Before buying windows, you must first determine what window types will work best for your home. It is also crucial for you to know and understand the energy performance ratings of windows. This way, you will know what energy performance ratings are needed for your windows based on your home design and the climate.

If you are building a new home or conducting a home renovation project, you must take advantage of the opportunity to integrate your window design and selection as a crucial part of your house (re)design.

Selection

There are different types of windows to choose from. How a certain window is considered energy efficient depends on all its components.

For instance, window frames conduct heat, which contributes to the overall energy efficiency of the window. Glass technology and glazing also play a crucial part. Most window manufacturers specify different types of glass or glazing for different windows, depending on climate, building design, orientation and other factors.

How the windows operate is also a crucial consideration. Remember that some operating styles offer lower air leakage rates than others which can significantly improve your property’s energy efficiency.

Here are some of the traditional operating window types:

  • Casement – This window type is hinged at the sides. They have lower air leakages because the sash closes tightly as it presses against the frame.
  • Awning – This window type is hinged at the top and can be opened outward. Like casement windows, their sash can be closed by pressing against the frame.
  • Fixed – When fixed panes are properly installed, they are airtight. But this type of window is not suitable for areas where ventilation is necessary.
  • Single- and Double-Hung – In a double-hung window, both sashes slide vertically. For a single-hung window, only the bottom sash can be opened by sliding it upward. Generally, these window types have higher air leakage rates than casements and awnings
  • Single- and Double-Sliding – In double-sliding windows, both sashes slide horizontally. But for single-sliding windows, only one sash can be opened by sliding it. Like single- and double-hung windows, these types of windows also have higher air leakage rates than casements and awnings.

Installation

Energy-efficient windows must be installed properly to ensure energy efficiency. Thus, you should let professional window installers do the job.

Window installation may vary depending on the type of window you choose, the construction of your home, and the exterior cladding. Ideally, windows must be installed based on the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Opting for energy-efficient windows is a smart move if you want to lower your energy bills and enjoy a comfortable home. Although there are several ways to improve the energy efficiency of your existing windows, it is highly recommended that you invest in energy-efficient windows. Just make sure to have them professionally installed.

AUTHOR BIO

Carmen Velilla is an experienced Brand Manager currently overseeing the strategic development of multiple brands as part of the Epwin Group. She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (ACIM), specializing in Corporate Communication and Digital Marketing.