When examining ways to save money as a homeowner, a great starting point is to evaluate your home’s windows. Replacing old or inefficient windows will save money on your electricity bill, and with winter arriving in the coming months, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the windows in your home. If it is time to consider replacing your windows, listed below are factors to consider in picking the right energy efficient windows for your home.
Should You Replace Your Windows?
First, let’s examine when it’s necessary to replace your windows. A good indication that it’s time to replace your windows is if you can feel a draft in your home. Windows become warped over time, which can create gaps and cause a draft to flow through.
Another clear indicator that your windows have seen better days is that they become difficult to open or close. An additional
telltale sign it’s time to replace your windows is if you notice condensation between your double or triple-pane windows.
When condensation is present, you can bet the insulated glass is no longer doing its job correctly. Finally, if your windows are single pane, they are, by nature, very inefficient and are ideal candidates for window upgrades.
How to Choose the Most Energy Efficient Windows.
Now that you have a clear understanding as to when you should replace your windows, let’s examine what to look for when shopping for the most energy efficient windows.
1. Consider the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
Heat can be gained through your windows, regardless of the temperature outside. Examining the solar heat gain coefficient can show you how much heat from the sun is blocked by your windows. The first step in identifying what SHGC you should be looking for when replacing windows is to evaluate the climate you live in.
For example, if you live in a mostly tropical climate, you should be looking for windows with a lower SHGC, which functions by transmitting less solar heat while providing better shading power. In contrast, if you live in a cooler climate, you’ll want to look for windows that feature a higher SHGC, which will be more efficient at keeping warm air inside. This helpful tool can help you assess the SHCG you need based on the climate in which you live.
2. Evaluate the Air Leakage of a Window
Air leakage is the rate of air movement around a window in the presence of a specific pressure difference across it. It’s measured in cubic feet per minute per square foot. Basically, it measures how many cubic feet of air can pass through your window in a minute. When searching for windows for your home, keep in mind that a product with low air leakage allows less air to pass through, while a product with a high air leakage rating allows more air to pass through, thus increasing your energy costs. It sounds self-explanatory, but many people never bother to ask about this rating when purchasing their windows.
3. Examine the Window’s Insulating Properties.
You’ll need to evaluate insulating power when determining which window is best for your home. The rate at which heat is lost is assessed with the U-factor. Windows with the best insulating abilities have a high U-factor, whereas, purchasing a window with a low U-factor translates to having poor insulation in your windows, leading to higher energy costs.
Window Treatment Options to Help Your New Windows.
Finally, after you’ve upgraded your house to feature more efficient windows, it’s a smart idea to think about window treatments designed to further help with cost saving measures. Blackout curtains are helpful in the summer and early autumn months when the sun is strong. Keep the shades down during the day while you’re at work to conserve energy and lessen your A/C bill.
Another option is dual shades, which feature a reflective light side and a contrasting dark side that work well to block out heat from sunlight in the warmer months and keep heat in during winter.
Are You Ready for a Window Replacement?
The combination of air leakage, solar heat gain coefficient and the U-factor are all determinants of how energy efficient your windows will be. Making upgrades to your home’s windows is a smart choice that will easily save you hundreds, making both your wallet and your family members happy, regardless of the changing seasons outside.
This sponsored post is written by Ashley Brant on behalf of CitiQuiet , a leading designer, manufacturer, and installer of high performance soundproof and energy efficient replacement windows for residential and commercial use.
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