What Are Energy-Efficient Windows?
When researching new windows for your home, you’ll inevitably come across the term “energy-efficient windows.” But, what are energy-efficient windows, exactly? Simply put, energy-efficient windows are a type of replacement window that helps your home perform at an optimal level while using the least amount of energy. So, how do they work, and why are they worth the investment? Let’s break it down.
How Do Energy-Efficient Windows Work?
Energy-efficient windows work by preventing a process called heat transfer, which refers to the movement of heat. Heat transfer occurs due to differences in temperature, as heat will always move from a hot object to a cold one.
Now think of this process in regards to your home. When it’s cold out and you turn on the heat, the heated air inside your home will be forced to move toward the cold air outside your home. And, when it’s hot outside and you turn on the air conditioning, the hot air outside your home will try to move toward the cooler air inside your home. The easiest place for this transfer to occur is around your windows, as heat can conduct through the glass and frames and either penetrate or escape your home. The job of energy-efficient windows is to stop this from happening.
What Makes a Window Energy Efficient?
Modern windows come equipped with a number of features that work together to make the windows as energy efficient as possible. These include:
- Multiple panes of glass – Most energy-efficient windows feature two or three panes of glass, and the small spaces between the panes are filled with an insulating material, often an inert gas, such as argon or krypton.
- Foam spacer systems – Spacer systems are incorporated into replacement windows in order to provide structural stability. However, in traditional windows, these systems are aluminum, which conducts heat. Energy-efficient windows, on the other hand, have foam spacers, which are non-conductive.
- Low-E coatings – Energy-efficient windows also feature Low-E (low emissivity) coatings. Low-E is a thin, transparent coating that is applied to the window’s panes. The coatings reflect solar heat and prevent it from being absorbed by the window’s glass.
- Non-conductive frames – Aluminum window frames will conduct heat into your home the same way metal spacer systems do. Because of this, energy-efficient windows are made with non-conductive frame materials, such as vinyl.
How Do Energy-Efficient Windows Save You Money?
Energy-efficient windows save you money by keeping your home’s interior at a more consistent temperature. This makes it easier for your HVAC system to heat and cool your home, and therefore less energy is required to run it, which will likely lead to savings on your monthly energy bills. How much money you save exactly will depend on a number of different factors, however, including where you live and what the climate is like in your region.
What Are the Best Energy-Efficient Windows?
There are many different types of energy-efficient windows on the market, but not all of them offer the same level of thermal performance. To ensure you receive the best value for your investment, look for windows with ENERGY STAR® ratings. ENERGY STAR® rated products have been tested by a government-backed institution, so you can be confident they meet the strictest standards for energy efficiency.
Get a Free Estimate for Energy-Efficient Windows
If you’re interested in having energy-efficient windows installed in your home, contact Paramount Builders. We are a family-owned home improvement company that’s been installing top-performing vinyl replacement windows since 1991. We would be happy to tell you more about our energy-efficient windows and schedule a free, in-home consultation and estimate. Contact us today to get started!