Monday, March 11, 2013

Energy Efficiency: Understanding How a Window Upgrade Can Save You Money

You know winter is arriving when the temperatures begin to get frigid. When the temperatures begin to drop, many homeowners will begin to turn their heating systems on and the colder it gets, the harder the system needs to work which increases energy bills. The good news is, by utilizing replacement windows; you can significantly decrease energy use as well as the cost of home heating.

Energy efficient windows help to make your household more comfortable as compared to older drafty windows. This means you are able to not only live comfortably, but save on your electricity and gas as well. There are several ways that efficient windows work in saving energy. Your windows make up a central part of your household's architecture and it can be really simple to go about your daily activities without giving them a second thought. As the energy costs climb, however, the time is now that you want to pay more attention to them and seriously consider an upgrade to more energy efficient windows. In both function and construction, windows like these are different than regular windows and will help you to save a bundle on both your heating and cooling expenses. Below will help you understand how energy efficient windows work to save you on energy costs.

Window Frames


The frame of a window can be made from fiberglass, wood, vinyl, composite, aluminum or another metal. Even though they all have their own particular advantages and disadvantages, it is recommended that you go with vinyl, composite or fiberglass to get the most benefit. Aluminum is heated easily and therefore does not make a great insulator. Due to contraction and expansion, efficiency problems exist with wood frames, so vinyl-clad or fiberglass is a good choice. However, if you decide on vinyl, depending on your house requirements and climate, it is best if you go with the insulated version for the best thermal insulation.


Window Glazing & Insulated


There are many different options when it comes to selecting your window glass, such as heat-absorbing tints, gas fills, double or triple glazed insulated, spectral selective coatings and reflective coatings. Double or triple glazed as well as storm windows allow air and space between panes. This will lower the U-factor and the SHGC or solar heat gain coefficient.


Gas fills


Argon is the most common gas used and is fairly inexpensive. Krypton, although more expensive, is also a common gas used and works better at decreasing the U-factor of a window.


Heat-absorbing tints


Tints come in different colors like green, blue, bronze, gray or black. Tint does not lower the U-factor of a window, but you can add spectral sensitive coatings and inner glass layers to help with that. Bronze and gray help to reduce light and heat while green and blue allow for more VT or visible transmittance, but with only a slight reduction in heat transfer.

You can save money each month with energy efficient windows. In some cases, newer windows have helped people to become net energy gainers. Typically, energy efficient windows will have a payback period of around 2 to 10 years. In new installation, their initial cost is higher but can be offset by giving you the ability to get a less expensive and smaller heating and cooling unit. More durable, energy efficient windows will end up costing less in the long run due to lowered replacement and maintenance costs. Plus, you will be more comfortable all around and a fully insulated home. Places like  Central Scotland Joinery can help you select the best option of energy efficient windows for your home and install them for you too.



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