How to Maximize Energy Savings with Energy Efficient Windows
Remember when style was at the forefront of every homeowner’s mind? While it is still a priority to homeowners, there’s a new top dog that has taken over the home building industry: energy efficiency. Instead of focusing solely on looks and design, homeowners are turning to the newest trend of minimizing extra costs of heating and cooling by remaining energy-conscious with energy-efficient windows.
Want in on the energy-efficiency movement? Here are a few tips for how to maximize your dollars and save money when choosing the right energy-efficient windows for your renovation project.
When looking at energy-efficient windows, one of the biggest aspects to focus on are the frames. There are pros and cons to every frame material, so the choice is ultimately yours to make in accordance with durability, energy efficiency, budget, and of course, looks and aesthetics.
Vinyl windows can be a great choice for those with a lower budget while offering excellent energy-efficiency with insulated glass and minimal air leakage. The only drawback to using vinyl is that there are not as many color choices and other materials.
Although wood windows have the best insulation, they also require more maintenance than other materials because of their tendency to rot, fade, or warp in harsh climates.
Aluminum windows are not the top of the list when it comes to insulation and air leakage, but they do serve as a stronger and more durable material that fares better against the elements.
Wood-clad windows truly are the best of both worlds—they have a vinyl or aluminum exterior with a wood interior, making them low maintenance with high insulation. The only thing to watch out for is that they are prone to water intrusion, but this can be solved by installing waterproof rubber membranes and sill pans.
Another important factor when choosing energy efficient windows is glass—energy-efficient glass depends on the thickness, style, and type of glass used. The following are a few things to look for when buying new windows:
- Panes. Triple-pane and double-pane glass have better insulation and energy efficiency than single-pane glass.
- Low-E glass coating. Low-emissivity glass coating reflects solar heat, keeping the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter.
- Glass insulation. An extra layer of glass insulation will help with thermal performance and temperature control.
To find out what each window’s glass efficiency features include, look for an Energy Star sticker with ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council. These stickers will include your window’s U-value (heat loss resistance) and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (heat transfer measurement). The lower the number, the better the energy efficiency.
Just like different glass panes and insulations, some window styles are more energy-efficient than others. The most common types of energy-efficient windows are:
- Double-hung windows,
- Casement windows, and
- Picture windows.
Similar to different window materials, these window styles all have their pros and cons but are equally energy-efficient depending on climate, maintenance, and building type. To learn more about what window type is best for your project, speak with a local window expert.
Installation is key when getting new windows! If your windows aren’t installed properly, even the most expensive and highest quality windows won’t perform well. From caulking and flashing to foams and sealants, proper window installation is crucial to accomplishing your energy efficiency goals.
Maximize Your Energy Efficiency with DLD Windows
From frames to ratings, every step of the window buying process includes a range of decisions based on your energy efficiency goals, budget, style preferences, and environment. At Direct Lumber and Door of Colorado, we offer a variety of energy-efficient windows from the best manufacturers in the industry including Marvin and Western Window Systems to ensure you have what you need for your renovation.
With our newest window facility in Denver, we can provide our customers with high-quality windows and trim to match any builder’s design or budget. To learn more about the energy-efficient windows we carry, contact us today.