Installing energy efficient windows in your house is not only a great way to improve the value of your home, but it will also reduce the amount you pay for your heating and cooling bills. Replacing older windows will create a better barrier against the elements by reducing drafts during colder months and helping keep the cooler air in during warmer months.
Along with various rebates offered by energy companies (check with your local energy company for details), your heating and air conditioning bills will most likely reduce significantly as well. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, heat lost in winter or gained in summer through windows, skylights and doors can account for more than 25% of the heating and cooling bills in many homes.
Benefits to installing new windows include:
- Lower HVAC Costs. New windows can reduce the peak heating and cooling loads, in turn help in reducing HVAC equipment sizing
- Improved Comfort. Cold glass can create uncomfortable drafts near the windows, and direct sunlight through windows on to people and interior surfaces can cause overheating and discomfort as well
- Reduced Condensation. High-performance windows create warmer more insulated glass surfaces, reducing frost and condensation.
- Increased Light & View. Sunlight and view are two main functions of a window. New windows can help reduce unwanted heat gain while still allowing sunlight to enter your home.
- Reduced Fading. Materials and surfaces such as carpet, fabrics, paper, artwork, paints and wood may fade upon exposure to sunlight. Windows can influence the type and intensity of transmitted radiation.
ENERGY STAR® Qualified Windows
Doing research before buying, as with anything, is essential. Purchasing and installing ENERGY STAR® qualified windows lowers household energy bills by 7-15 percent, according to the ENERGY STAR® website. Lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and shrinks a house’s carbon footprint.
ENERGY STAR® qualified windows meet specific performance levels based on climate zones. See their website for recommendations on which windows will work best in your climate zone.
One type of window that was thought to be less energy efficient in the past is the aluminum window. Vast improvements have been made with this particular type of window, and the benefits are something to consider.
- Are very low maintenance
- Won’t rust or rot
- Are strong and durable
- Have narrow sight lines that maximize view
- Have slim frames that complement modern architectural styles
- Are available with tough anodized or baked-on finishes
- Can be equipped with thermal breaks that separate the interior and exterior surfaces of the window to improve energy efficiency
As mentioned earlier, one main function of windows is to provide a view. Single- and double-paned windows do that just fine; however an even better and larger view can be obtained by installing a bay window.
Along with adding ambiance to a living space, a bay window placed in the right area can help bring the outside in. Overlooking a flower or butterfly garden is a great way to enjoy your yard without having to endure the heat or direct sunlight.
A bay window also makes a room feel larger and more inviting.
When choosing what windows to install, there are large benefits to choosing energy efficient options. Remember to research what climate zone you live in and find out what kind of rebates and incentives you can get from both the government and your local energy company.
Benefits beyond monetary include increased comfort, a better view, and curb appeal. Choose wisely and you can enjoy energy-savings and reduced bills for years to come.