A home is so much more than the windows, doors, walls, and roof that create the structure. However, when a home is made up of quality, efficient components, it is more affordable and comfortable to live in.
If you’re wondering how to improve energy efficiency in your home, windows are a great place to start. They are often one of the largest sources of wasted energy. Inefficient windows are not only a drain on energy but your bank account, as well. We’ve offered up some tips for replacing your old windows with energy-efficient windows in the past. While these replacements can come with a high price tag, there are some ways to save money and make it more affordable.
How Do New Windows Increase Home Efficiency?
New windows increase home efficiency in every scenario, but some scenarios will reap more benefits than others. Do you have any single-pane windows in your home? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save $101-$583 and 1,006-6,205 pounds of CO2 every year by replacing single-pane with double-pane energy-efficient windows.
Even if you choose new windows that aren’t energy-efficient, by design, double-pane windows are more efficient than single-pane and are sure to save you money. If you already have double pane windows, but they’re old or damaged, replacing them will still shave significant amounts off your energy bill.
What sets energy-efficient windows apart from regular windows is the glass used to make them. They’re made either with a double or triple-pane low-emissivity glass (Low-E glass), which blocks 90% of the sun’s rays and traps heat in when it’s cold, and locks it out when it’s hot. You can also find further tinted, gas-filled, or reflective options designed for increased efficiency that will cost more upfront but lower your monthly costs.
Types of Energy Efficient Windows
When it comes to energy efficiency and windows, there are a lot of options to sift through. Here is a list of the most energy-efficient window materials.
The three most energy-efficient window frame materials:
- Vinyl Window Frames are the most cost-effective option, require minimal maintenance, and the frames can be filled with insulation to make them more energy-efficient.
- Fiberglass Window Frames are strong, and the spaces in the frames can be filled with insulation to make them more energy-efficient.
- Composite Window Frames look like wood but are far more durable. They’re also resistant to rot and decay.
The three most energy-efficient window types:
- Picture Windows do not open so that no air can leak out.
- Casement Windows can open, but they close by pressing against the frame, which allows for minimal air leakage.
- Awning Windows can open, but, like casement windows, they close by pressing against the frame, allowing for minimal air leakage.
Choosing the right windows can feel overwhelming. Discover the best, most cost-effective window type for your home.
5 Ways to Save on Windows and Improve Energy Efficiency
As you shop around for energy-efficient windows, it’s important to do your homework before making any big purchases. When it comes to saving money on windows, there are a few things you can do to cut costs without sacrificing quality.
1. Consider When to Repair vs. When to Replace Your Windows
Deciding whether it’s time to repair or replace your windows can be a tough call. In the end, the time you spend figuring it out will be time well spent. Some wear and tear is expected, but it won’t have much impact on your windows’ performance overall. Explore the importance of repairing your windows right when they need it instead of replacing them.
Signs that your windows need repair instead of replacement include:
- Broken panes
- Broken sash cords
- Other damaged hardware
Signs that it’s time for a replacement include:
- Condensation on the inside of your windows
- Moisture build-up between the panes
- Decaying frames
- Significant draft being let it
Another way to help you decide whether it’s time to repair or replace your windows is by scheduling an energy audit to find out how energy-efficient your current windows are.
2. Know Your Local Energy Efficiency Recommendations
Energy-efficiency is important, but what’s more important is knowing the energy-efficiency requirements for your region. Efficient windows in Minnesota will be different than somewhere hot like Arizona. Purchasing the wrong energy-efficient windows for your climate can save you less money.
3. Choose Replacement Materials Wisely
Know your materials before you make a decision. Wood frames will require the most maintenance, but if that’s the look you really want, the extra work may be worth it. Each material comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Our window professionals can help you understand each material and determine the best choice.
4. Window Replacement Isn’t All or Nothing
Whether your home has many windows or just a few, you don’t have to replace everything all at once. If you have some damaged windows, those are the perfect place to start, and as you feel ready to make further investment, you can replace the others at your own pace. You also don’t have to replace an entire window. You may only need to replace the pane or the frame.
5. Choose Common Window Styles
Windows are available in all styles and shapes. Remember that more common styles and shapes are more readily available and moderately priced because of the demand. Unique shapes and styles are sure to drive up the price.
Energy-Efficient Window Replacement
Although window replacement can seem like a big undertaking, the benefits are many, and it turns out that there are ways you can save money in the process. Upgrading your windows not only increases energy efficiency, but increases the resale value, curb appeal, safety, and comfort of your home. Contact our window repair and replacement professionals today for advice on your windows and to learn more about our residential and general contracting services.