What Makes a Window Energy-Efficient?
If you’re researching replacement windows, you’ve no doubt come across comparisons for different windows’ energy efficiency. But, this broad term is often used to mean many different things, and all the sales jargon can get a bit overwhelming. At See-Thru Windows, Doors & Home Improvements, we’ve been working with customers for decades, so we’ve met many that are often unsure what exactly makes a window energy-efficient. This page should help you get a better understanding.
How Do Windows Lose Energy?
To best answer the question, “What makes a window energy-efficient?,” it can be helpful to first explain the different ways that a window can lose energy. The simplest way that windows waste energy is via drafts, which can make your HVAC unit work overtime by allowing conditioned air to escape and letting in outside air. Another important way that windows waste energy is when it is transferred through the glass, such as when condensation or frost forms on your windows or when light heats up your home’s interior. Energy is also wasted when transferred through the window frame itself.
Fighting Energy Loss
So, now that you understand some of the more common ways that windows can waste energy, you’re probably wondering how new replacement windows combat them. While there are dozens of ways to approach window energy efficiency, some of the most common and effective solutions include:
Frame and Glass Insulation
Adding insulation to the frame and glazing of a window is a great way to improve its energy efficiency. For frames, insulation is straightforward—insulative foam or backing is added to the internal cavities of the frame, drastically improving its thermal performance and helping keep energy inside the home. To insulate glass, multiple panes are installed, which are then filled with a transparent, inert gas that helps slow thermal transfer.
Low-E glass coatings and other applications are aimed at stopping one thing: UV radiation. The great thing about these coatings is that they’re completely transparent, so they don’t affect the view out of your window, but they do block a portion of harmful light from entering your home. That has the effect of creating less thermal transfer and also prolonging the life of your furniture, floors, and wall art.
All of the technological bells and whistles of windows mean nothing if the windows are installed poorly. Not only does a good installation prolong the life of your windows, it will also have a huge influence on how well they perform over the years. When window contractors go the extra mile, even less expensive windows can perform better for longer. By the same token, contractors that don’t try very hard can take years of functionality away from your replacement windows, so it’s important to choose a team you can trust.
Meet Our Team to Discuss Your Windows Energy-Efficiency
At See-Thru Windows, Doors & Home Improvements, we strive to be the kind of window contractor that you can rely on to provide windows that last for decades. We’ve been working with homeowners throughout Maryland since 1994, so you can trust in our expertise and sterling reputation when it comes time to upgrade your home with replacement windows.
To find out more about our products or schedule a consultation, contact See-Thru Windows today.