Energy-efficient replacement windows typically cost more than their standard counterparts, but trust us — the long-term benefits are worth it. In today’s post, Austin Pro Siding, Windows & Roofing shares a look at why you should switch to energy-efficient windows.
How Do Energy-Efficient Windows Work?
Windows, together with the roof, exterior walls, skylights and entry doors, are part of the energy envelope — an insulated enclosure designed to reduce thermal transfer. A lower heat exchange rate between the indoor and outdoor spaces means consistent indoor temperatures, which, in turn means lower heating and cooling requirements that ultimately results in energy savings.
Traditionally-built windows are one of the most common culprits of thermal transfer because glass is a naturally-conductive substance. This is why drafts are often felt near windows when it’s cold outside. Energy-efficient windows are equipped with double or triple-pane glass, with the gap between the glass panels serving as an insulating layer. Combined with insulated frames and correct installation methods, energy-efficient replacement windows can be a great way to save on your utility bills.
The Benefits of Energy-Efficient Replacement Windows
In addition to long-term energy savings, energy-efficient replacement windows can also help keep your home more comfortable. The reduction in indoor heating and cooling requirements will place a lighter workload on your HVAC system, which may help prolong its service life, as well as reduce the risks of dealing with an unexpected breakdown — and the associated costs of repairs.
How to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows
The quickest way to identify an energy-efficient replacement window is through its ENERGY STAR® certification label. However, if you have more specific requirements, look for the energy ratings label, which breaks down the window’s energy performance into the following categories:
Insulation. The U-factor measures how well a replacement window can help keep heat from escaping from the indoors. The lower the U-factor, the better the insulation. Some replacement windows may be instead rated with an R-value, which represents resistance to thermal transfer. This means a window with a low U-factor will have a correspondingly high R-value.
Solar heat gain. Heat from the sun is a different heat source than ambient heat from the outdoor air, which is why there is a separate performance rating for it. Look for windows with a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), as it will help you save on your air conditioning bills during the summer season.
Visible light. More natural light means potential savings on artificial lighting costs. If you want to make the most of natural light, look for windows with high visible transmittance (VT) ratings. Conversely, you may need windows with low VT ratings for south-facing windows, as the light coming from this direction is typically harsh.
Air leakage. Thermal transfer can also happen through air leaks. Replacement windows with low air leakage (AL) ratings will help further reduce thermal transfer, as well as avoid drafts.
Ready to get new windows? Settle for nothing less than one of the most trusted replacement window companies serving communities in San Antonio. Give Austin Pro Siding, Windows & Roofing a call at (210) 906-0046, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.