Moreover, energy-efficient windows are the best way to maximize the possible savings on your bills and are a practical and aesthetically-pleasing choice. Deciding to change the windows in your house can improve the way your home looks and provide more comfortable surroundings.
There are many different benefits to be had from incorporating energy efficient windows into your property. Is it time to upgrade your home?
In this article, I will guide you through the pros and cons of upgrading your windows and supply you with everything that you need to know about energy-efficient windows in 2020.
4 Reasons to Replace Your Old Windows
There are multiple reasons why you may be considering replacing the old windows in your home. One primary reason is that they’re causing drafts and you wish to reduce your energy bill. Drafty windows can lead to energy bills being 10-25% higher, so if drafts are bothering you, it might be time for an upgrade.
Let’s look at four other reasons to replace your windows:
- Your Windows Are Damaged, Broken or Cracked
Broken or cracked windows are a significant reason for drafts and increased energy costs. They can also make your home appear old and unkempt, which will be a huge negative when it’s time to sell.
If the damage is minor, repairing a window by adding new hardware or weatherstripping could be an option, but warped, damaged, or broken window frames and sashes are often better replaced.
If your windows are noticeably drafty, your glass might be fogging up. If they won’t stay open or stick when you open and close them, it’s time to consider an upgrade.
- You Want to Bolster Your Home Security
In these uncertain times, home safety is a huge concern. The last thing you need is a vulnerable entry point into your home for an intruder to enter.
Old windows often have ineffective locking systems, too, and you don’t want to have to face any dangerous emergency situations with windows that might not open as quickly as they should.
Replacing the windows in your home with a new set will overcome all of these issues.
- You Want to Increase the Value of Your Home
Upgrading your windows, especially to energy-efficient ones, can give a return on investment of around 80%, which is a compelling reason to make a change.
New windows can also provide your home with a “face-lift” and give it added beauty. They will give a positive impression to visitors and serve as an excellent addition to a home improvement project.
It is something well worth considering if you plan to sell your house anytime soon.
- The Colours On Your Furniture Are Starting to Fade
If the sun is damaging your property, this is a definite sign that it is time to consider changing your windows. It means you can’t solve the problem with a simple repair.
Many folks invest a lot of money in beautiful furniture, carpet, and curtains, and it would be a shame to allow the quality of these things to suffer due to sub-par windows. To avoid this situation, you should consider energy-efficient windows with a low-emissivity glass coating, which will help with reflecting the sun away from your home.
Energy-Efficient Windows: The Basics
The world is increasingly conscious about the environment and the need to become more aware of our carbon footprint. We all feel a responsibility to save on our energy consumption and use scarce resources responsibly.
In days gone by, the main concern when selecting new windows was their design and the materials used. Today’s modern reality means we look for more, with energy-efficiency becoming a more and more sought-after quality.
Installing energy-efficient replacement windows can have positive benefits in saving on bills. The advanced materials available in modern windows mean that you can have a beautiful appearance with a comfortable temperature inside your home while you save money.
If your existing window system is over ten years old, outdated, or drafty, you should think about a full replacement of the windows in your home.
It is undoubtedly a significant investment in time, money, and energy, but there are great rewards in getting it done right.
How Do Energy-Efficient Windows Actually Work?
Regular glass does not offer much protection against heat, cold, and light. Clearly, this will be an issue during periods of extreme temperature changes throughout the summer and winter.
The heat escaping from your room in winter and the warmth of the sun in summer will have a significant effect on the interior temperature. The genius of energy-efficient windows is that they treat different types of light differently. They allow visible light right through while reflecting infrared and ultraviolet light.
Energy-efficient windows use Low-E glass, which has a transparent and thin coating that reflects heat. The Low-E coating is attached to both sides of the glass. So when heat tries to escape during the winter months, the heat is reflected back into your room. The opposite applies during summer.
Typically, energy-efficient windows have well-insulated frames. The glass is usually double-, or even triple-glazed and features insulating gas between the glass panes. The whole package together provides an excellent level of insulation.
What Benefits Will I Notice After Replacing My Windows?
As I have mentioned, replacing your old windows with new energy-efficient ones can have many benefits. Here are some things that you will immediately notice:
Protection from Ultraviolet Rays
Low-E glass will block the majority of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which means you can use natural light to brighten your interior without worrying about damage to your furniture, art, furnishings, etc.
A Nice Comfortable Interior
Your rooms will no longer be affected by outside weather, providing you with a higher degree of comfort. Your new energy-efficient windows will also mean no excessive glare and rapid temperature changes so that you can have natural light with none of the disadvantages.
Something you might not have considered is that natural light is well-known as a mood enhancer. It can also help to improve productivity and give your rooms a welcoming, comforting ambience.
Lower Energy Bills Every Month
Replacing all of your old windows with new energy-efficient ones will mean your Low-E glass will reflect heat and reduce heat transfer. This means your house will be cooler in summer and hotter in winter.
Your HVAC system will also have a reduced workload, which will mean lower energy bills to pay every month.
Picture Windows Mean Even More Savings
The type of window that you choose also has a bearing on your overall utility bills.
If you have chosen this style, you will have noted that they don’t open, which makes them the most energy-efficient windows available. They are airtight, which makes them the least likely to have energy leaks.
If you really value your fresh air and need windows that open, we suggest casement windows as the most energy-efficient option. Their design means that they are a better choice over double-hung or sliding windows when it comes to preventing heat transfer. They are well-sealed and a practical option.
How is Energy Efficiency Measured?
The (NFRC) National Fenestration Rating Council has a label that shows some essential information about energy-efficient windows. Resistance to heat flow, solar heat gain, air leakage, and conduction of heat flow are all important when you gauge the energy efficiency.
You should consider the following when reading an NFRC label:
- Air leakage. Modern energy-efficient windows usually have high leak-resistant qualities. This is measured in cubic-feet-per-minute. Lower numbers refer to lower air leakage.
- U-factor. This refers to the flow of heat and its conduction. The rating of the U-factor runs from zero up to one. The lower the number, the better it is, particularly in areas of widely different temperatures outside and inside.
- Condensation resistance coefficient. This has a rating of between zero and 100 to see how measure efficient a window is at resisting condensation. The higher the number, the better.
- R-value. This measurement refers to a window, and it’s resistance to heat flow. The test is used on multiple parts of the window, such as frame, glass, centre, etc. A product is judged as high quality if it has a high number on the R-scale.
- Visible transmittance. This is a method of calculating the amount of light transmitted through a window. A high rate is desirable, and most values are between 0.20 and 0.80.
Your window professional will be able to explain these ratings to you further and help you decide which combination of readings is most suitable for your home.
What Does an Energy Star Rated Window mean?
You may hear of an Energy Star rating when you start to explore your window options. It is a government-sanctioned program which can prove to be useful in helping you judge the quality of windows that you buy.
Energy Star determines what makes good quality, energy-efficient windows by measuring four separate parts of the window. Namely, the gas, the glass, the reinforcement, and the spacer.
To qualify to be labelled as an Energy Star product, the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) rating and U-factor must be equal to or less than a ‘ten’ standard, as established by Energy Star.
Other Factors to Consider
In this section, I will look at a few other considerations you should have when choosing to install new energy-efficient windows.
Which Type of Glass is Best?
There are many types of glass available, as I have alluded to above. Here are some of your options:
- Clear, single pane glass is now considered old-fashioned and very inefficient. You will have issues with energy loss and too much sunlight entering your room with this product. If this is what you currently have, it is time to consider an upgrade.
- Two or three-pane glass is now considered standard in most regions. They often feature a low U-factor of less than 0.3, which is excellent for reducing heat loss.
- Visible transmission glass is excellent at controlling heat and glare, which is vital in some regions.
- Tinted windows are excellent for helping with solar heat gain control and allowing extra privacy.
- Impact-resistant glass is suitable where there are serious security concerns, or the area is prone to flying debris or extreme weather.
- Low E2/ Solar Low-E is perfect for areas with extreme heat. It can block unwanted solar gains and reduce the reliance on air conditioning, thus lowering utility bills.
- Low-E coating glass is a common form of energy-efficient glass. It can be excellent in colder climates and has a low U-factor, which helps to keep down heat loss.
- Argon-filled glass windows feature argon glass between each pane. They assure excellent comfort and energy efficiency. This is an efficient, highly insulated option, and these windows are of superb quality.
The location of your house is essential in choosing which type of glass to use. Once again, I recommend that you run through your options with your local window professional to decide on what’s best for you.
Hire a Competent Window Installation Team with a Good Reputation
Like many things in life, the quality of work from different window glass installers can vary. Installing new windows is not something that you should get wrong, so it is worth making sure that you hire the right people.
You should check local reviews, ask for references from friends, and ask to see the installer’s professional credentials and insurance. It is always worth contacting a few of the references that they provide.
Even the best quality windows will not perform well without proper installation. Don’t view price as the only factor when you choose an installation team and find someone with a good reputation.
We don’t recommend DIY unless you have plenty of experience in installing windows and all of the correct tools. We have seen far too many DIY installations go wrong, later leading to issues with condensation, air leaks, or water damage. It is usually best to pay for someone with the right experience to carry out the job for you.
Ask About Incentives and Tax Credits
In some areas, there are incentives or tax credits available from the state, regional, or municipal government branches to encourage homeowners to install energy-efficient windows.
It is worth checking, as this can cover up to $1,500 of the investment, and can include storm doors, exterior windows, skylights, exterior doors, storm windows, etc.
For more information about your options when choosing your new energy-efficient efficient windows, you can look here.
Final Thoughts on Energy Efficient Windows and What You Need to Know in 2020
It is a big decision to make a change and choose to install new energy-efficient windows.
Your old windows might blend nicely with your home, and it can be tempting to want to stick with some beautiful timber-framed windows. However, there comes a time when everything needs an upgrade.
Often, you cannot adequately repair your old windows, and there’s only so long that you can put up with condensation, sticking windows, single-paned glass, and inadequate security.
There are inherent advantages to upgrading to energy-efficient windows. For one, they can increase the beauty and the value of your property. Moreover, from a profit point of view, installing new energy-efficient windows is one of the best things that you can do for your property investment.
Aside from giving your home an improved look, new energy-efficient windows can provide you with a return on investment of around 80%. That’s not bad at all.
We live in uncertain times, and the Coronavirus might well end up bringing severe social problems with it in the long-term. Desperate people might even resort to theft and robbery in order to make ends meet.
Old windows are often a weak spot in a house. Upgrading will address some severe security issues, especially since there is a wide range of robust and secure window options on the market.
Another factor to consider is the savings that you can make in your utility bills. There are a wide range of choices available that will allow you to make significant savings.
A double or triple glazed argon-filled glass window, for example, will be a highly insulated option and will mean you have a comfortable ambience in your home alongside excellent energy efficiency.
A complaint that we often hear from homeowners is that drafts and fading furniture, curtains, art, or carpet are an annoying problem. It is hard to put right with an old set of windows, so, again, investing in replacements is the way to go.
It can be a pricey undertaking, but luckily there are various financing options available. These include a bank loan, credit card loan, or a payment plan worked out with your window supplier.
Depending on your location, there may even be tax credits or incentives available to help encourage people to install more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient windows. If you’re unsure, you can always contact your local window installation specialist for advice. They can make recommendations about suitable options and give you a no-obligation quotation.
There are so many upsides to choosing new energy-efficient windows for your home. Now’s a better time than ever to seriously consider your options.