All You Need to Know About Purchasing Energy Efficient Windows for Your Home
When you buy windows, there are several things you will want to consider to ensure you a making a smart purchasing decision.
One of the most important things you will want to think about is energy efficiency. Windows that are energy efficient will keep your heating and cooling bills down. They will also make your rooms feel more comfortable and they will be better at keeping out outside noise.
But how do you know which windows will be most energy efficient? What characteristics should you be looking out for to make sure your windows do their job in keeping your rooms comfortable and your energy expenses low? Read on to find out.
Look for an Energy Star Rating
An Energy Star rating is the easiest way to determine whether or not a window is energy efficient.
In order for windows to receive an Energy Star rating, they must meet certain standards. Here are a few things that need to apply:
- An Energy Star window recommended for northern climates will let in infrared light to promote heat generation. They are double or triple framed and have a low U factor giving them the ability to trap warm air in.
- In southern climates, Energy Star windows work to keep heat out of the home. Their low U factor adds to their insulation and works to keep cool air inside the home.
What to Look for in an Energy Efficient Window
Although a window with an Energy Star rating will always provide the best in energy efficiency, Montreal homeowners who want to make sure their windows are doing all they can to heat and cool their homes will want to check for certain features. These include the following.
Multi Window Glass Panes: An energy efficient window will be double or triple paned. The panes are sheets of glass sandwiched together with spacers. The construction creates air pockets between the layers of glass that prevent air from entering and escaping. The pockets are filled with different gases to increase their efficiency.
Frame Materials: The materials your window frame is made out of will also contribute to its energy efficiency. When looking for energy efficient windows, you will want to stay away from aluminum frames. These types of frames conduct heat too well to be efficient, even when they have a thermal window break in them.
Other than aluminum, almost any other type of window frame will work well when it comes to reducing the transfer and heat and insulating the windows. Materials like composite, vinyl, fiberglass and wood are all recommended.
Low-E Glass Coatings
When window shopping, you may hear the term ‘low-e’ getting thrown around a lot. Low- e stands for low emissivity and it refers to a coating that is designed to keep heat in your house in the winter and keep it out in the summer.
In warmer climates, the coating works by controlling the way heat from sunlight moves around. It prohibits ultraviolet and infrared light to allow sunlight into your home while keeping heat out.
In colder climates, a low-e coating has the reverse effect. The full spectrum of light is allowed inside the home and the heat energy it produces is trapped inside. This creates a greenhouse effect that will keep your home warm.
As mentioned earlier, energy efficient windows will have gas fills between the windowpanes to help insulate the home. Argon or krypton are common although other gases can used as well. These gases are non-toxic, odorless and colorless.
Window spacers are another feature that improves energy efficiency. They are located between the glass panes. When spaced the perfect distance apart, they reduce heat transfer and improve energy efficiency. Spaces can be non-metal or a metal hybrid.
Getting new windows can be expensive but if you go with an energy efficient product, it will begin to pay off in lower utility bills. Studies show that if you replace single paned windows with an Energy Star rated model, you can save between $125 and $465 annually and an estimated 21% – 31% on utility costs throughout the year.
If you already have double paned windows and are replacing them with Energy Star rated double paned windows, you will still see a savings, but it won’t be as significant. In this situation, Montreal homeowners can expect to save between $27 and $111 a year.
However, if you get an attractive new set of windows, it can also add to your home’s value making this an even more worthwhile investment.
Energy Star Incentives
The money saving incentives you can get by installing energy efficiency windows can also improve your financial situation.
It used to be that homeowners who installed Energy Star windows in their home were eligible for a tax credit. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. However, customers in certain locations may quality for a mail in rebate when purchasing the right type of energy efficient windows.
In other locations, homeowners that are interested in installing energy efficient windows can qualify for a low interest loan to make it easy to pay for the windows and the installation. Check with your local installers and distributors to see if you can work out a financial plan that works for you.
Figuring Out VT Ratings
When you are looking for energy efficient windows, you may see that some of them come with a VT rating. VT stands for Visible Transmittance and it refers to how much visible light can pass through windows.
So, if you are looking for windows for a home theater room you will want to have a low VT rating, but in rooms like kitchens where you need a lot of light, VT ratings should be higher.
You should also be aware that multiple low-e coatings and windowpanes will also affect the VT rating. It is good to strive for the maximum in energy efficiency without sacrificing the amount of light coming into the room.
Energy Efficient Window Installation
Getting the best energy efficient windows is a good move. But without the right type of installation, your windows aren’t doing all they can to protect your home against the elements.
If you are looking for installation you can feel confident about, the team at Factory Direct Montreal is highly recommended.
Factory Direct Montreal sells high quality, energy efficient windows and installs them with care and precision. This makes them your one stop shop when it comes to increasing the energy efficiency in your home. They provide the very best in service and the best value for your money.
If you are looking to make your home more energy efficient, installing the right windows is a great place to start. Be sure to look for an Energy Star rating and the best installation services so you can feel confident your utility bills will stay low. Taking these steps will ensure that your window installation will be one of the wisest investments you make for your home. Contact us.