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Energy Efficiency for New Windows

Image via Angies List

According to Energy.gov, “windows are responsible for 25-30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.”

If you are selecting windows for a new home being built or replacing existing windows on your home this spring, energy efficiency is important to consider. Energy efficient windows are a great way to reduce energy use, therefore saving money on energy bills and in turn, making your home more comfortable.

There are some things you should know about replacing your windows. Tons of decisions go into the type of windows you purchase and the type of replacement you will make. You may have the ability to replace windows in their existing frame. Discuss this with your window retailer and installer to see if this is an option for you. If not, you will need to decide on the fame type you would like for your new, energy efficient windows.

Other things to consider when looking at window type:

  • Glazing type
  • Gas fills and spacers
  • Operation types

Beyond type, you’ll also need to look at design, energy use and labeling, warranties, and proper installation. Check for the ENERGY STAR label when shopping and then research the energy performance label to find the best option that fits your needs. You can find ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) here, which includes ratings on all ENERGY STAR certified windows. This is a great tool to compare products.

Here are some tips for window selection:

  • Look for ENERGY STAR and NFRC labels
  • Consider gas-filled windows for colder climates
  • For warmer climates, select windows with coatings to minimize heat
  • Look for low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) to reduce heat gain in warm climates
  • Opt for a low U-factor for better thermal resistance in cool climates
  • Consider both SHGC and low-U factors to maximize energy savings in temperate climates

The most important factor when looking at energy efficient windows is the installation. Without having the windows properly installed, the windows won’t be able to do their job properly. Installation can vary based on window type, construction of the home, home exteriors, and more. Everything should be installed according to manufacturer’s recommendations in order to perform correctly, including flashing and air sealing.

While the whole process is a lot to consider, energy efficient windows are extremely helpful in saving energy and money. Does it seem overwhelming to select windows on your own? We take the time to make sure we select the right product  and the right price for you and your needs here at S&K. Check out our window services.