What To Look For In Energy-Efficient Windows

If your home needs replacement windows, you're probably comparing your options. If you want windows that also help control the climate in your home and keep you the most comfortable while controlling your energy bills, you'll probably want energy-efficient windows. However, you may wonder what makes a window energy efficient and how you can pick out the right windows for your home. Here are some tips.

Look For Insulated And Tinted Window Glass

The glass in your replacement windows has a huge impact on energy efficiency. If you have an older home, your windows now might be basic single-pane glass. These have very poor energy efficiency. When shopping for energy-efficient windows, look for double or triple-pane glass. These windows might have insulating gas between the panes for even more insulation.

In addition, window glass is tinted to control how much sun enters your home. If you buy windows with glass that reflects the sun, your home will be cooler in the summer. Window glass can also control heat transfer, so heat inside in the winter won't escape to the outside.

Buy Frames With Added Insulation

Metal frames don't insulate very well. When it comes to energy efficiency, you might want vinyl frames that have an insulated core. The better insulated the frames, the warmer your home stays in the winter and the cooler it stays in the summer.

In addition to the material of the frames, the installation of the frames is important too. You don't want any gaps around the frames to allow heat transfer. When you buy window frames with good insulation along with insulated glass, and the windows are installed properly, you'll have much better energy efficiency than you have with old single-pane windows.

Read The Labels For The Whole Story

When you want energy-efficient windows, the first label to look for is the Energy Star label that indicates the windows have met standards the government has set for energy efficiency. Plus, the ratings are by climate so you understand if you need windows to protect from heat more than cold or vice versa. The label also means the windows have been tested by an independent party.

Another label to look for is from the National Fenestration Rating Council. This label provides a wealth of information about energy efficiency. Several criteria are rated so you understand how the windows will perform in your climate and your home.

Ratings include U-factor which rates how well the windows stop heat transfer, visible transmittance which rates how much natural light the windows let in, condensation resistance which rates how well the windows resist water buildup, air leakage which rates how well the windows stop outside air from getting in, and solar heat gain coefficient which rates how well the windows stop solar heating of your home.