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3 Things To Consider When Buying Energy-Efficient Windows

By Guardian Windows | Date March 14, 2024

3 Things To Consider When Buying Energy-Efficient Windows

In your quest for a more sustainable and energy-efficient home, you may overlook your windows. However, choosing the right windows can make a significant difference in your home’s energy consumption and overall comfort. Here are the three most important things to consider when buying energy-efficient windows for your house.

The Energy Efficiency Rating

When you want to determine how well a window will insulate your home and reduce energy costs, look at its energy efficiency rating. You’ll typically see three ratings: the U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), and visible transmittance (VT). The U-factor tells you how much non-solar heat flow a window conducts. You’ll see it marked on a scale from 0.25 to 1.25. The lower the number, the better the window insulates.

The SHGC shows the fraction of solar radiation a window admits. A window with a lower SHGC lets in less solar heat. This is especially helpful in hot climates where you want to keep out as much heat as possible. Lastly, VT indicates the amount of light a window allows through. While it doesn’t directly affect energy efficiency, a window with a higher VT can reduce your need for artificial lighting, thereby allowing you to save energy. By understanding these ratings, you can decide on the best windows for your specific needs and climate.

The Benefits of Each Glass Type

Different types of glass can significantly influence the energy efficiency of your windows. Let’s look at the three primary types: double-pane, triple-pane, and Low-E glass. Double-pane windows contain two sheets of glass with an insulating space between them. This design helps reduce heat transfer, making these windows an excellent option for both hot and cold climates. Triple-pane windows go one step further with an additional layer of glass and insulating space. They’re particularly beneficial in cold climates where high insulation levels are necessary.

However, the ultimate glass type uses more than panes to create energy savings. Low-E (low emissivity) glass has a special coating that reflects infrared light while allowing visible light to pass through. This means it can help keep your home warm by reflecting heat back into the room in the winter. At the same time, it can keep things cool by reflecting heat away in the summer. The result is a window that offers superior thermal efficiency, leading to even greater energy savings.

Window Frame Considerations

When choosing energy-efficient windows, you must pay attention to the importance of the frame. The frame material can significantly influence the overall insulation and durability of the window. For example, wood frames are incredible insulators but require more upkeep to prevent rot and decay. Aluminum frames, though durable and low maintenance, conduct heat quickly, which can reduce their energy efficiency. Fiberglass frames offer a good balance with high insulation properties and durability. However, the most effective, stylish, and affordable option is undoubtedly the vinyl frame. Vinyl frames are great at providing thermal insulation, require little to no maintenance, and are available in a wide range of styles.

Consider these three things when buying energy-efficient windows for your property to ensure a suitable and effective investment. Not sure where to get the ideal energy-efficient windows in Houston? Check out our selection of amazing windows, installation services, and so much more here at Guardian Windows!

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