Being environmentally conscious doesn’t have to be difficult. You can start with simple changes inside your home, like replacing appliances and fixtures with energy efficient versions. Replacing old windows with energy efficient alternatives can also save energy and make your home “greener.” Whether you’re renovating, going green, or replacing a broken pane, here is what you need to know about finding a great environmentally friendly window:
Why Replace Instead of Repair
Heat loss is a common problem in older homes. While replacing the caulking and using weather-stripping can sometimes minimize the amount of heat loss, it doesn’t do as much as you might think. If you have the opportunity to switch out your windows, an energy efficient style is not just sealed better, it also uses different technology to minimize the transference of heat.
Although energy efficient windows may seem like an expensive investment on the front end, they’re also one of the most valuable replacements you can make, with an average return of about 78%. Combined with energy savings from the switch, the upfront cost may not be as daunting to homeowner’s looking for new windows.
An energy efficient window will do most of the work, but a proper installation is also vital to maximizing cost savings. Let a professional handle your replacement work to ensure that the tightest seal possible has been added for energy efficiency.
The Technology Behind Efficiency
Glazing, layers of glass, and gas fillings all help conserve energy in an efficient window. There are several different types of window constructions that are designed for various uses. As far as operating types, awning, casement, and fixed windows have a lower leakage rate than hung and sliding windows.
You will notice a few different measurements used by Energy Star to rate efficiency. The U-factor, Visible Transmittance (VT), Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and Air Leakage (AL) ratings are all used to gauge the effectiveness of a certain window, depending on the climate. In the US, windows rated for energy efficiency in the Northern Zone have different measurement ratings than those in the Southern and South/Central Zones.
Whether you’re ready to replace all your windows at once or just want to learn more about the energy efficient types available, Tri County Windows & Siding can help. In the North/Central Zone around Virginia, we have several energy efficient windows that can help you save energy and keep your home feeling comfortable throughout the year.