Old windows can significantly impact your energy bills. Single-pane windows over ten years old have poor thermal performance and worn window frames may sag or create gaps that allow drafts to enter. Replacing these windows with modern, double- or triple-paned windows can improve energy efficiency and potentially lower energy costs. The amount of money you will save is determined by the features you select for your replacement windows and location.
Choose Energy-Efficient Window Materials
The material you choose for your replacement window frames is critical to your home’s energy efficiency. Vinyl windows are exceptionally energy-efficient because they are water-resistant, resilient, and made of PVC. It is low-maintenance and insulates well on its own; however, it can be filled with additional insulation to improve thermal performance further. When you customize your new windows, your dealer will assist you in determining which option best suits your aesthetic preferences and specific needs.
Additional Ways to Boost Energy-Efficiency in Windows
While upgrading the material of your old windows to a modern option, such as vinyl, and sealing any drafts can improve energy efficiency on their own, you can also add extra features to your new windows to reduce their U-factor. A window’s U-factor indicates how well it insulates and how energy efficient it is. You can add features to your windows to reduce the U-factor and make them as energy-efficient as possible.
Among these energy-saving features are:
- Extra windowpanes: Double-pane windows are a significant improvement over the outdated single-pane windows of the past. However, a third pane can be added for greater energy efficiency and thermal performance.
- Argon gas: You may use argon gas to fill the gaps between the windowpanes. Because argon gas moves slower than air, heat transfer is reduced, resulting in a more stable interior temperature in your home.
- Low-E coatings: Low-Emissivity coatings are microscopic metal coatings applied to the surface of the glass during manufacturing. They reduce heat transfer by reflecting UV rays and sunlight, keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- Extra insulation: Of course, adding additional foam insulation to specific window frames may be an option to improve the performance of your windows.
Additional Factors to Consider for Energy-Efficient Windows
Your climate and the windows’ SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) rating are also factors to consider when calculating energy savings (essentially, a rating that indicates how effectively the window prevents heat from entering the home).
SHGC Rating: Low
Consider the orientation of the windows in relation to your climate. For example, if you live in a dry, hot climate and the window you’re replacing faces the sun for most of the day, it’s likely that it lets a lot of heat in, making your house uncomfortable and raising your cooling costs. These windows must have a low SHGC rating, so they’ll do a better job keeping heat and radiation out and your home cool.
SHGC Rating: High
In colder climates (and for windows that do not receive a lot of sunlight), a window with a higher SHGC rating would be preferable to capture heat, especially during the winter months. This can keep the house warmer and potentially lower heating costs.
The combination of window material, energy-efficient features, window direction planning, and your climate will all influence how much money you can save after replacing your old windows!
Contact the Experts at Leap Windows & Doors
Leap Windows & Doors is here to help if you want to replace your old windows. Contact us today, and we will gladly set you up with an appointment with one of our project managers.