How to Choose Energy Efficient Windows for Your Home
Your home's windows are a very important feature of the house itself; they can provide insulation against the elements, keep your heating and air conditioning inside and also block out damaging UV rays from the sun. While windows are an important investment for your home, they're also typically very expensive. This is why you want to ensure you take your time to shop and choose the best windows for your home, especially if you're concerned about saving energy. Note a few tips to remember when you're in the market for new energy efficient windows.
Wood windows can look very traditional, but the wood may also conduct heat and cold through the window frames so they often aren't the best insulator. Vinyl windows are usually considered the best insulator for your home as vinyl isn't as likely to conduct heat or cold. Vinyl also typically needs no maintenance and is very durable, so it isn't likely to warp like wood and cause gaps in the window frame that let in drafts. Some vinyl windows can be stamped to look like a wood grain so you can still have a traditional look while keeping your home insulated.
Double-glazed or triple-glazed windows are fairly popular when it comes to energy efficiency, as that second or third pane adds to the insulation of a home. However, if those panes are filled with simple air between them, this isn't as efficient as argon gas. This type of gas is more resistant to heat and cold exchange, meaning it won't allow heat or cold to pass through the window. Vacuum sealed argon gas will keep the gas in place and offer the most insulation for double-glazed or triple-glazed windows. Be sure you note what is between the glazing of windows when shopping so you choose argon.
Style of window
You may be choosing the style of window for your home based on its appearance, but note how some can be more energy efficient than others. Double hung windows, meaning the bottom slides up, can allow cold air in through those sliders. Casement windows, where the panes of glass are on a hinge that allows them to be opened into the home, may be better insulated against this air intrusion. Picture windows, which are just a large pane of glass that cannot open, may offer the most insulation. For rooms where you may not want to open the windows such as a living room or dining room, a picture window may be the most energy efficient choice.