Because of the growing concerns of global warming, improving your home’s energy efficiency is more important than ever. Many designers create unique and useful methods to bring efficiency into their designs, but probably the most effective way to do this is through energy-efficient windows.
Beauty are important factors for many people when selecting window designs. Fortunately, becoming environment friendly doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your own style, since there are now numerous energy-efficient windows available. By selecting sustainable replacement windows, you will not only save your energy costs, but you will also become more ecologically responsible by contributing in the green effort.
Given the role of energy-efficient windows is the first step toward adopting sustainable into your house. But, before we go any further, you might be asking what energy-efficient windows are and how they vary from regular windows.
What Makes a Window Energy-Efficient?
When you see the ENERGY STAR® badge, you know you’re looking at energy-saving windows. You can rely on the efficiency of these windows because they were designed to fulfill a range of requirements and conditions in order to obtain the badge.
Some of these specific standards are as follows:
- Energy Star Windows for Northern Climates – These windows generate heat by allowing infrared light to enter, trapping warm air within your home. These windows have double or triple panes and a low U-factor, demonstrating their insulating properties.
- Energy Star Windows for Southern Climates – These are windows that allow to maintain your home’s air leakage to a minimum. Their low U-factor shows their insulating capacity even further, making them a good choice for warmer climates.
Aside from these characteristics, the window material and type of glass utilized separate efficient windows from traditional equivalents.
Energy-Efficient Window Frames
The amount of heat resistance of the window varies based on the material utilized. Thermal resistance refers to the amount of heat that a window may transport inside.
- Wooden window frames are an excellent insulator.
- Fiberglass frames provide comparable insulation to wood frames.
- Aluminum is affordable and long-lasting, yet it has poor insulating properties.
Many factors influence the efficiency of a window, including the type, thickness, and style of glass. Reducing the conductivity of the mirror and letting specific solar rays to enter your house can improve the comfort of your property while also lowering your energy costs. These elements help to improve the overall efficiency of window glass:
- The number of window panes – Double-pane glass insulates better than single-pane glass. Triple-pane glass, on the other hand, has the potential to increase energy savings.
- Glass coating — Any window glass that has been tinted with a Low-E (low-emissivity) coating can efficiently repel solar heat. Low-E glass will mostly depend on your area due to its various variances.
- Insulating gas – Many windows include a harmless gas that adds an extra layer of insulation and enhances thermal efficiency greatly.
- Solar window film — Similar to Low-E coating, a solar window film tints your windows.
Professional Window Installation
The materials used in the window’s construction are not the only factors influencing its efficiency; correct installation by an expert is also needed. Professional installation ensures that your energy-efficient window functions as planned. Furthermore, you may rely on window professionals to consider your aesthetics by employing seamless products such as glass fiber reinforced cement.
Adding a layer of insulation foam within the window frame during the installation stage is one of the modest improvements you can do to improve the effectiveness of your windows. This technique adds additional layer of protection against air leakage, considerably improving the performance of your windows.
What to Look for When Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows
For the most energy-saving potential, seek for window labels highlighting their energy-efficient features. Windows with the ENERGY STAR® and NFRC designations have been rigorously tested to ensure that they fulfill particular performance specifications.
Identifying an ENERGY STAR® certified window involves three factors:
- The U-Factor of a window reveals how quickly heat travels through it. The lower the U-factor, the better the insulating properties of the window.
- The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is a measurement of the amount of heat-causing light that can enter a residence through a window.
- The quantity of air admitted through the frame and joints per square foot of window area is measured by the air leakage rating (AL). Less air may pass through windows with a lower AL rating.
The ENERGY STAR® mark specifies whether a window is government-certified. Depending on your location, the label will also inform you the energy performance grade to look for.
NFRC Window Ratings
While the ENERGY STAR® badge shows that a window meets energy efficiency standards, the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) rating indicates that the window’s energy performance is more visible than other windows.
The NFRC mark, like ENERGY STAR®, contains two main important ratings:
- The U-Factor represents the heat rate that flows through the window per hour. The lower the number, the more effectively the unit insulates.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – a value that determines how much solar energy enters as heat.
The NFRC window ratings are a reliable technique to assess the overall energy performance of a building. To achieve the accreditation and utilize the label, window manufacturers must match their products with NFRC requirements.
Choosing sustainable windows could be a challenging task for many people, ranging from design and features to energy-saving alternatives and skilled installation. You may begin by comparing energy-efficient replacement windows, but each feature you add can affect the efficiency. Hopefully, these suggestions will help us to identify the most key factors based on your location and energy efficiency. To get more home ideas visit websites like homeguidelines.com or todaymagazine.org.