Should You Get Energy Efficient Windows?
According to the Department of Energy, 10 percent - 25 percent of a home’s energy losses are due to windows. If you install energy efficient windows, you can expect to save an average of 24 percent during the winter and 18 percent during the summer. According to Bill Barr of All Star Windows, a 25-year veteran of the industry, if you install premium energy efficient windows, you can expect to save up to 50 percent in one year. In addition to the energy savings you would get from these windows, you would also reduce noise pollution, especially if you live near a highway or railroad.
Are you looking to replace just one window or all your windows? Replacing just one window will still allow tons of heat to escape (or enter) through the old windows that you have ultimately reducing the effectiveness of that one window. Usually it is best to replace all of your windows rather than just one of them.
How many layers do you want? Energy efficient windows typically come in either double pane or triple pane units. The only difference between these two types is an extra layer of glass and noble gas. This extra layer of glass and gas can save you an additional 20 percent - 30 percent in savings.
Do you want Low-Emissivity coating? Low-E coatings allow heat to enter or escape in just one direction. So if you live in a cold area, you would want your windows to only allow heat to enter your house; and if you live in a hot area, you would want your windows to only allow heat to exit your house. There are new Low-E coatings that can reflect up to 93 percent of heat back into a space.
Which noble gas do you want as the filler? Double pane and triple pane windows have empty spaces in between them that are filled with noble gases. Usually they are filled with argon, krypton, and xenon (argon being the least effective and xenon being the most effective). The reason why they are filled with noble gases and not air is because noble gases are stable so they won’t ever explode. Another reason why air isn’t used is because noble gases do not have any humidity in them so when it gets cold in the winter, your windows won’t fog up.
What material do you want your window frame to be made of? Most normal windows have either aluminum or steel frames, but these two metals are great conductors of heat so they do a terrible job of keeping heat indoors or outdoors. Instead go with a vinyl, wood, or fiberglass option.
So what are the pros and cons of these windows?
Pros: You will save money on your energy bills. You will increase the value of your home, you will live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and installing a normal window costs the same as installing an energy efficient window!
Cons: You don’t want to replace just one window because the other normal windows will offset the benefit you are getting from that one window ultimately minimizing energy savings.
Ultimately the decision comes down to whether or not you are going to live in your house for at least a few years. If you use your air-conditioning and heater a lot and plan on living in your house for more than five years, it is a good time to invest in energy efficient windows. To learn more about double pane windows or to schedule a free in-home consultation, contact Glass Doctor of Dallas Metroplex.