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What makes a window energy efficient

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Thanks to certain features, windows can achieve energy efficiency. What are these features? Read on to find out more as we conclude this blog series.

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What makes a window energy efficient

  1. 1. Theincreasinginterestinachievingenergyefficiencyismainlyfueledby two things: a better awareness of the environmental impact of energy use and the need to save on costs as electricity bills rise. A number of factors determine how energy efficient a home can be but faulty windows have been shown to decrease energy efficiency by facilitating heat transfer and air leakage. Improving energy efficiency then can be partly achieved by ensuring windows are in great shape all the time. But more than just having windows in good working condition, having windows made of the right material may have a bigger effect on your efforts to achieve energy efficiency. Here’s a quick overview of different window materials and how they can contribute to your home’s energy efficiency: METAL Metal-framed windows are usually made of aluminum or steel alloy. Metal might not appear energy-efficient because it quickly absorbs heat but it can be because it also quickly releases whatever heat it absorbs. This means metal-framed windows don’t contribute a lot to heating a home, keeping cooling needs at bay. WOOD Wooden frames, on the other hand, lose heat more slowly, making it ideal for use in areas withgeneralcoldclimates.Byofferingreliable insulation,woodeasesstrainonHVACsystems by helping maintain indoor temperature. PART 1: ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOW MATERIALS
  2. 2. VINYL One of the reasons that makes vinyl a favorite among homeowners is that it is very easy to maintain. However, while it is convenient to care for, a vinyl window also offers great thermal insulation, helping prevent outdoor heat from getting in and indoor heat from getting out. COMPOSITE Windows with composite frames generally get the best that wood and vinyl has to offer, combining superb insulation (that blocks thermal transfer hundreds of times better than metal!) with maintenance ease. o o o o o Asidefrommaterials,whatelsecanmakeawindowenergy-efficient?InPart 2,we’llbediscussinghowwindowstylescanalsohaveahandinimproving energy efficiency in your home. PART 1: ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOW MATERIALS
  3. 3. It’s not just the window’s materials that make a window provide better energy efficiency, what with different styles offering their own way of keeping a home ventilated, insulated, and illuminated. Knowing what each style has to offer can help you decide which one to get to achieve your energy-efficiency goals. DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS Doublehungwindowsofferlimitedventilation in that they can only open as big as one sash but provide great control as both sashes are operable, allowing homeowners to use just one or both depending on their needs. They also let in moderate amounts of natural light, contributing to daylighting efforts. Because not a lot of light is let in, this also lessens heat that gets into homes alongside sunlight. CASEMENT WINDOWS As casement windows can be opened all the way, they create the best opportunities for ventilation, offering big openings that let a lot of air in and out to facilitate circulation and controls that let you angle a sash in such a way that it captures breezes effectively. SLIDING WINDOWS Sliding windows are like double hungs in that their openings can only be as big as one sash. However, sliding window sashes are generally bigger than the ones double hung windows use so the former is able to offer better ventilation, cooling and heating a home quickly as needed. Glass areas are also usually unobstructed by muntins, letting in a lot of light into a room to aid in illumination during the day. PART 2: WINDOW STYLES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
  4. 4. BOW AND BAY WINDOWS Bow and bay windows are both made up of a seriesofsmallerwindowslaidoutnexttoeach other, both creating large areas of glass that let homeowners take advantage of natural light. All those windows also mean more openings, allowing bow and bay windows to provide excellent ventilation. PICTURE WINDOWS Picture windows are also known as fixed windows because they can’t be opened. This means they can’t offer anything in the ventilation department but, because they are kept closed at all times, picture windows are the best option for optimum insulation. Named as such because of their ability to provide stunning outdoor views, picture windows also have some of the biggest glass areas around, making them great as daylighting tools. o o o o o In the next part, we’ll be wrapping up this three-part blog series by talking about how window features contribute to achieving energy efficiency in a home, complementing style and material options. PART 2: WINDOW STYLES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
  5. 5. Choosingawindowmadefromtherightmaterialandinaparticularstyle can greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency. However, certain features also contribute, ensuring the best application of ventilation, insulationandilluminationforyourproperty.Thefollowingisarundown of some of the most energy-saving features windows can have: 1. WEATHERSTRIPPING Weatherstripping refers to the strips of rubber or vinyl found on the edges of the window frame. When the window is fully closed, the weatherstripping acts as a physical barrier, sealing off gaps between the sash and the frame to prevent moisture, wind, and dirt from getting inside.Havinggoodqualityweatherstrippinghelpspreventunregulated outdoor air from getting inside and affecting the stability of indoor temperatures. 2. LOW-E AND REFLECTIVE COATING Low-emissivity and reflective coating enables a window to block out heat from the sun so excessive heating doesn’t occur inside your home. They differ, however, in that low-E coating does not impede the level of natural light a window lets in while it’s possible for reflective coating to filter out as well some of the light streaming in, although at minute levels. PART 3: ENERGY-EFFICIENT FEATURES IN WINDOWS
  6. 6. 3. MULTI-PANE GLAZING AND GAS FILLS Multi-pane glazing means more than one layer of glass is used by a window. Using several glass layers improves insulation because less heat is transferred as it goes through a layer of glass. This function is complemented though by gas (usually argon or krypton) that fills the space between the layers of glass. The more layers of glass there are in a window, the less heat is likely to get inside a home. 4. WINDOW TREATMENTS Though not exactly a window feature, the use of window treatments improves energy efficiency by further preventing heat inside from getting out and heat outside from getting in. With air leakage further kept to a minimum, indoor temperature remains stable, making it easier to heat or cool depending on what will keep you comfortable. o o o o o Windows look great but they can be greatly functional as well. Making the effort to choose energy-efficient windows when you’re looking for a replacement will help you address more than one need, ensuring you make the most out of your investment. PART 3: ENERGY-EFFICIENT FEATURES IN WINDOWS
  7. 7. Renewal by Andersen of St. Louis 149 Weldon Parkway Maryland Heights, MO 63043 (314) 332-2364 RBASTL.com

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