One of the best and easiest ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to implement good window insulation. Many older homes were built using single-paned windows which do little to keep the heat or cold outside. Replacing these with newer windows will cut your energy bills considerably, not to mention keep you and your family comfortable all year long.
There are many varieties of windows on the market today, so let’s take a look at what each has to offer.
How Many Panes are Best?
Many homeowners opt for double-paned windows, most likely for two reasons: they are unaware of the triple-paned option, or they are trying to keep out of pocket expenses down as much as possible. Although triple-paned windows will obviously cost more, you can’t beat them as far as efficiency. But who needs triple-paned? For most parts of the country, a double-paned window will most likely be sufficient. But for those areas that often experience extreme cold and heat, triple-paned windows make the most sense. Yes, they will cost more upfront, but your house will be much more efficient and you’ll make that money back quickly in energy savings.
The next step up on the insulation scale is opting for a gas-filled window. Many models of windows have air between each pane, but gas-filled units have usually Argon or Krypton between each. These gases help to further insulate your home against the outside air and help you save even more on energy bills.
Hard Coat Glass
Windows can also have a coating that’s applied to the glass which keeps the heat out in the summer and keeps the heat in during the winter months. There are varying grades of coatings available, and the best thing to do would be to speak with a window installer to see which grade would be best for your climate area. An added bonus to coated glass is that it blocks harmful UV rays which can fade your furnishings, artwork, and carpeting.
Consider the Framing Material as Well
The framing material of a window is one of the most critical factors in determining proper window insulation, and yet many people overlook this when purchasing new windows. The biggest culprit in poor energy efficiency is aluminum which can conduct cold and heat, so avoid windows that use aluminum for the framing. Better options would be frames constructed out of wood or wood composite, vinyl, or fiberglass. The same goes for the spaces between the window panes. Never choose ones made of aluminum; look for spacers made from steel, foam, or fiberglass.
One of the greatest things you can do for your home’s energy efficiency and for your own comfort is to replace your old windows with new ones. Talk with your local window specialist about which options are right for you.
Categories: Energy Efficiency