When it is time to replace the windows in your home, you will be faced with a vast array of options. Many of the windows you encounter will likely boast an energy efficiency rating.
You will quickly notice that the more energy-efficient windows tend to come with higher price tags. Is it worth paying more for windows that have better energy efficiency? Here is a look at what you need to know.
How Much Money Can You Save with Energy-Efficient Windows?
The first question on most homeowners’ minds is how much money they will be able to save by installing energy-efficient windows. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that homeowners can save between $125 and $465 each year by replacing older windows in their homes with more energy-efficient varieties.
Homeowners who switch to energy-efficient windows typically save around 12% on their electricity bills per year. This means that those homeowners who spend around $200 a month heating their homes would be able to shave $24 off of their bills each month.
Your precise savings, however, will depend on the age and type of windows you are replacing and the climate where you live.
Which Factors Can Make a Window More Energy Efficient?
If you have decided that you would like to take advantage of the energy bill savings provided by energy-efficient windows, you will encounter many different ratings that aim to describe a window’s efficiency. Here is what you need to know when making a decision about which windows to invest in.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
The solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC, is a figure noting the fraction of solar radiation that can pass through a window, either by being absorbed or directly transmitted and then released to your home as heat. Energy-efficient windows with lower SCHC numbers provide better shading and can reduce solar heat transmission.
Another important rating is the U-factor, which indicates the rate that a window loses non-solar heat. A lower U factor is better as this means the energy-efficient window has superior heat flow resistance and greater insulating properties.
Many energy-efficient windows contain low-E coatings that reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation that can make its way through the window and minimize the rate at which energy is lost through the window’s glass.
This is a measurement of the airflow through the window joints. Energy-efficient windows with a lower number will experience less air leakage.
When it comes to condensation resistance, higher numbers mean that the windows are better able to resist condensation.
When shopping for energy-efficient models, it is best to invest in windows with as many panes as you can afford. Triple-pane windows are the most energy-efficient windows by far, offering three panes of glass with two layers of insulative gas.
If your budget cannot accommodate triple-pane windows, it is best to opt for double-pane windows as single-pane windows do not offer much in the way of energy efficiency.
Windows that are equipped with multiple panes of glass, such as double-pane or triple-pane windows, generally use gas fills between the panes to enhance their insulating performance. One of the most popular gas fills is argon gas, which can provide windows with superior protection against the elements.
ENERGY STAR Ratings
An ENERGY STAR rating shows how well a specific window compares to others when it comes to energy efficiency. Energy-efficient windows must perform better in energy savings than 75% or more of their competitors to be awarded an ENERGY STAR rating.
The system was created by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is considered the gold standard in window ratings.
Other Features that Make Energy-Efficient Windows a Worthwhile Investment
Although energy bill savings are a top concern for many homeowners, there are many other benefits you can enjoy by opting for energy-efficient windows. Because these windows help to regulate indoor temperatures, they reduce the demand on your HVAC system, possibly extending its lifespan.
In addition, energy-efficient windows can reduce the amount of outside noise that makes its way into your home, creating a more peaceful environment indoors. The difference can be particularly noticeable for those who live in urban areas or close to a busy road.
Reach Out to the Experienced Window Replacement Team at Adelphia Exteriors
The quality of installation has a notable impact on the effectiveness and energy efficiency of windows. This means that to get the most out of your investment in energy-efficient windows, it is important to have professionals install them properly.
The window replacement team at Adelphia Exteriors has considerable experience and knowledge when it comes to the installation of energy-efficient windows in the Northern Virginia area. Contact our experts today to learn more about the services we offer or request a free estimate for your window replacement project.