What Makes Windows Energy Efficient?

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Do you want to save money? We are revealing what makes windows energy efficient to help you reduce your bills!

An energy efficient window with ice on it.

To reduce your heating and cooling costs, you need to understand what makes windows energy efficient. This tidbit of knowledge has a significant impact on your finances, as well as your overall quality of life. You can judge your window’s performance by how much it impacts the temperature in your home.  Poorly-made windows experience a lot of air infiltration. Those drafts mean you have to crank up your heat in the winter and blast your air conditioning in the summer. But the more you understand your window’s energy efficiency, the better you can protect yourself from having to deal with this problem.


Understanding What Makes Windows Energy Efficient.


A window’s energy efficiency depends on a few factors. It starts with the materials and ends with the installation. Glass is a poor insulator. It needs special treatment to protect it from unwanted heat loss or heat gain. So heat entering or escaping through your window panes will be a dead giveaway that you have poor-quality windows. Using low-E coatings can help improve your energy efficiency to some degree. But glass is not the only thing you need to worry about.  


Everything from the frame to the construction and even the installation comes into play. More likely than not, that cheap, old window that’s been sitting in your house for years doesn’t have what it takes to provide you the energy efficiency you deserve.


When shopping for new windows, you likely base your decision on three things: 

  • the overall price of your home improvement project
  • the window style and its appearance
  • the energy efficiency ratings


You will find that cutting corners on energy efficiency to lower the price now will cost you a lot of money on your energy bill later. No one wants an ugly window. So, of course, you will leave some room in your budget for aesthetics. But investing all your money into a beautiful window that lacks energy efficiency is how you wind up with windows you hate, in a house you hate, and no money to do anything about it (which you will also hate).


Do not let that be you. Design your perfect energy-efficient window with all the bells and whistles you are looking for when you choose Windows & Doors By The Men with Tools.


When selecting windows for your home, you must consider what makes energy efficient to make the right choice. An excellent place to start is learning how to read NFRC stickers. Look into how different materials impact how your window performs as well. We explore all of that below.


Your Window Construction and Energy Efficiency


Windows last longer when made well. They are also more energy efficient. So, right away, they will give you more bang for your buck than that $200 window from your local home center. The better the construction, the fewer drafts coming through your windows. Durable frames are important because they maintain a tighter seal. Better construction adds strength to your window, and better materials add insulation. These things prevent drafts from coming into your home through cracks or gaps around the perimeter of your window.  They also stop air from entering or escaping through the window frame or glass.


Keep these 4 characteristics in mind when looking at windows:


  1. A low air leakage rate. The more air leaks through your windows, the less energy efficient they are. We make windows with an air leakage of 0.02. That’s 15x more airtight than the industry standard!
  2. A low U-factor. The U-factor measures how well your window blocks heat from entering or escaping the house. The lower the number, the better it performs. Our exclusive ThermaLast windows have a U-factor of 0.24. 
  3. A low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). The higher the SHGC number, the easier it is for the sun to heat your home in the summer through your windows. ThermaLast’s SHGC rating is 0.21. That’s low! We achieve that rating without using dark glass that kills your natural light.
  4. A high R-value. The R-value measures how much heat your window frames protect against heat loss on a scale of 0-1. It’s vital for maintaining the temperature that you set. The higher the number, the better. Ours is 23. Most companies don’t even reach an R-Value of 20. 


You will find these ratings on the NFRC stickers on any window you purchase. It is best to compare this information across a few brands before you make your final decision.

Double Pane Windows and Energy Efficiency


Double-paned windows get their name because they have two glass panels between the frame instead of one. The two layers of glass help to insulate your home a little bit, but glass does not insulate well on its own. To provide extra insulation, argon gas or some other non-toxic gas sits between the inner and outer layers of glass. This gas acts as a filter that slows the transfer of heat from the sun’s rays. It also helps prevent heat or cold from penetrating your home. The construction of double-paned windows makes them more energy efficient because they reduce heat transfer through the window.


It saves you money by helping to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. If you live in an area like New York or New Jersey, where temperatures get below freezing during winter and above 100 degrees in the summer, double-pane windows will help keep your home at a stable temperature year-round. That means lower energy bills for you and a higher return on your investment!


Take Advantage of Energy Efficiency Today


Installing energy-efficient windows in your home can save you, on average, between 7-30% on your monthly expenses. If you’re looking for energy-efficient windows for your home, get in touch! We’d be happy to provide you with all the information you need. Plus, our quotes are good for a full year.