Energy Star Windows
Windows are a more important investment in your home than ever before. They offer your home natural light, warmth, and also bring aesthetic appeal with modern design. However, your windows can have a negative impact on the heating and cooling efficiency. By installing energy-efficient windows you can significantly decrease the costs of energy used in your home all year round.
Why Choose Energy Star Windows?
Windows that carry the Energy Star certification are backed by the government and guaranteed to have passed the most rigorous testing standards before consumers finally get to install them. These highest quality energy-efficient windows come with a series of benefits. Most attractive of these is the fact that it can save consumers money with their insulating qualities. Due to the construction of energy-efficient windows, you are able to regulate the temperature inside your home all year round.
Save Money with Energy Star Windows
Windows that qualify for the Energy Star rating can significantly lower utility and energy bills. All homes lose heat through their windows, and older homes can lose as much as 30% of their heat. However, choosing Energy Star windows can drastically reduce this heat loss and save you up to:
- $126–$465 every year when single-pane windows have been replaced
- $27–$111 every year when double-pane, clear glass windows are replaced
But saving money is not the only benefit certified replacement Energy Star windows offer.
Peace and Quiet With Energy Star Noise Reduction
One of the most effective ways of keeping noise in or out of the house is with the help of an Energy Star rated, energy-efficient window. Many of the characteristics of an energy-efficient window that serve to insulate are also able to keep sound out. Traffic, trains, barking dogs and other noises in busy neighborhoods can all be blocked out so that you can be left undisturbed.
Double and Triple Pane Windows
Certain windows are more energy-efficient than others and some may have a more durable design or be more visually appealing. When shopping for windows which are Energy Star certified, it’s important to know that they are not all the same.
Windows consisting of multiple sheets of glass layered together with space between each pane is known as a double or triple pane window. Between each layer of glass, air gaps or pockets are created and sealed, which prevents any air from entering or exiting. These pockets are often filled with gasses which significantly increase the windows’ energy efficiency.
Double and triple-pane windows are a major improvement over single-pane windows, especially when it comes to home insulation. The cost of double-pane windows can be remarkably more expensive than single-pane windows, though triple-panes only cost moderately more than double pane windows. Upgrading your home to double or triple-pane windows is one of the most effective ways to increase the home’s insulation and efficiency.
Low-emissivity window coatings (Low-E), which means low thermal emissivity, are highly energy-efficient due to how they absorb, emit, and reflect radiant energy. Low-E windows can protect your home’s interior by reducing the constant exposure to direct sunlight. Flooring, furniture, photographs, and your home’s interior can become discolored after repeated exposure. A qualified Energy Star window with a Low-E coating can reduce fading by more than 70%.
Not All Energy-Efficient Windows Are The Same
The Energy Star label was created to lower greenhouse gas emissions and other inefficient energy sources in order to make identifying and purchasing of energy-efficient products easier for consumers. Without the Energy Star logo, you cannot be assured of its energy-efficient qualities. Energy Star products offer efficient alternatives while saving you money without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.
In order to earn the Energy Star label, a product needs to meet certain energy efficiency requirements. These specifications are set out by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) based on the following main principles:
- A product needs to meet strict energy-saving standards nationwide.
- Energy Star certified product features need to perform to consumers’ demands, while still providing energy efficiency.
- Energy-efficient products that cost more than their less efficient equivalent need to be able to recover their investment by saving consumers money on
- energy and utility bills within a specific time period.
- Energy-efficient products must be able to be measured with testing and have efficiency verified.
- Energy efficiency labels must be visible for consumers to differentiate products
Pair an Efficient Window with an Efficient Frame
A window’s energy efficiency can be significantly affected by the quality and frame design. The glazing along with its frame strength and sealing capability work hand in hand, affecting the total efficiency of the window. The most efficient window frame materials like uPVC, timber, and dual material frames are the most efficient – transferring the least amount of heat or cold.
Installing energy-efficient windows in a less efficient frame will not do much good. One of the least efficient frame materials is aluminum as they are a good conductor of heat even when thermal breaks are present in the design.
The most energy-efficient window frames are available in four main materials. These include:
Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s still advised to do research on what windows will work best for your home and local climate before choosing a frame material.
Look into Energy Star Incentives
Besides all the savings on utilities and energy costs over time, there are many types of energy credits and tax incentives available in certain parts of the U.S specifically created for energy-saving windows.
Be sure to check your local area’s eligibility.
Find a Reputable Manufacturer
Apart from finding the right product, it’s equally important finding a reputable window manufacturer when shopping around. One of the best ways to do this is by focussing on customer ratings. When shopping around, look at things like the build quality, read online reviews, and speak to local professionals for advice before deciding on a brand. Even though a window may be Energy Star rated, certain brands do offer higher quality manufacturing.
Rely on a Quality Installer
Without proper installation and insulation around the frame, a window will not be airtight no matter the certification. Always deal with reputable qualified installers for the best installation and always try to opt for a local installer known for their quality workmanship.
Before moving forward, always get an estimate on the cost of the installation. Check that they have installed the specific type of Energy Star windows before, but most of all, take the time to find reputable contractors to compare estimates. Energy-efficient windows are only as good as the installation allows.
When professionally installed, your new Energy Star windows will provide significant savings on your energy bill, lowering monthly expenses and increase the value of your home for years to come.