Interested in energy-efficient windows? Here’s what you should do
The Energy-Saving Benefits of New Windows
Interested in outfitting your home with energy-efficient windows? That’s a major project — but window replacement can really pay off.
New windows are a great way to refresh the look of your home. Vinyl replacement windows can save you from hours of sanding and painting. Like putting up (and taking down) your storm windows every year? Probably not — and a window replacement project can save you that trouble.
While all of these benefits are nice, replacing your old, drafty windows can give your home more than a nicer look and fewer chores (although, to reiterate, those are nice).
New, energy-efficient windows can make you feel good, too. How? Let’s take a look.
Energy-Efficient Windows Can Save You Money
We’ve got your attention! Reduced heating, cooling and lighting costs are among the most important benefits of energy-efficient windows. EnergyStar.gov reports that ENERGY STAR windows can save some residents in the Mid-Atlantic region nearly $600 a year in energy costs:
- Maryland – $580
- Virginia – $497
- Washington, D.C. – $476
Replacement windows may be eligible for ENERGY STAR tax credits that can save you even more when you install new qualified energy-efficient windows. Eligible products and tax credit amounts may change annually. In 2016, homeowners could recoup up to 10 percent of the cost, and that included installation.
There may also be energy-saving incentives through your local utility company. Homeowners: check out this rebate finder to see if your replacement windows can save you more money through your energy supplier.
You Can Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Green living is a priority in most American households. Replacing your windows can save you money — but there are also great energy-saving benefits, too. New energy-efficient windows can reduce your overall energy consumption, a goal we should all aim for.
Did you know: Replacing your old, single-pane windows with new, energy-efficient windows can save enough electricity to power a home for three months — or to watch TV for three years. Note: Please do not watch TV for three straight years.
Do energy-efficient windows help reduce greenhouse gas emissions? They certainly do. Again, over just a three-month period, replacing your old, single-pane windows with new, energy-efficient windows is the equivalent to:
- Keeping your car off the road for more than two months
- Preventing a half a ton of coal from being burned
- Planting 29 trees
You may find it difficult to plant 29 trees or to give up our wheels for two months. Your window replacement project, however, helps you to feel better about your family’s impact on the planet.
Learn about Energy Performance Ratings
Improving energy savings and going green are important as you consider replacing your windows. Understanding energy performance ratings can help you make more sense of the process as you go along.
There are 5 ENERGY STAR performance categories assigned to help you choose the most energy-efficient windows for your window replacement.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
- Air Leakage
- Visible Transmittance
- Condensation Resistance
Featured on all ENERGY STAR labels, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) rates each window based on the following performance specifications.
1. U-Factor: The U-factor rates a window’s ability to insulate. A lower number is better at keeping in heat, which is especially valuable in colder climates. Values range from 0.20-1.20 to help you compare.
2. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: Ranging from 0-1, the solar heat gain coefficient is a measure of the solar heat that can be gained through the window glass. A lower number means less heat gain. Whether you live in a hot, sunny climate year-round or just during the summer months, a lower solar heat gain coefficient value is likely to help you save on cooling costs.
3. Air Leakage: Also called air infiltration, air leakage is the air (think drafty windows) that enters through a window. Ranging from 0.1 to 0.3, a lower air leakage rating will keep your home comfortable and draft-free. Especially on those cold, windy winter days.
4. Visible Transmittance: This is a measure of the natural light that a window lets in. You may like to have a lot of natural light to brighten your home during the day, but did you know that the more natural light you use, the more likely you are to save on lighting costs? Visible transmittance values range from 0-1. If you’re looking to save energy and maximize natural lighting, choose a higher value.
5. Condensation Resistance: Condensation ratings are optional, but a product with a higher resistance rating should be better at resisting condensation. Condensation can damage windows, especially those with wooden frames.
Tech-Savvy, Energy-Efficient Windows
There are other window features that help improve energy-efficiency ratings. Some homeowners have opted for Heat Mirror windows. This technology utilizes special lightweight films inserted in between glass panes. Films are coated with tiny metal particles to create a mirrored finish. These “super-insulating” chambers combine with inert gases to form a powerful glass insulating system that can outperform typical single-, double-, and triple- pane windows.
If you’re ready to reap the benefits of new energy-saving windows, Long Windows can help you see the difference and make the switch. We can show you how new energy-efficient vinyl replacement windows are quality made, can save you on energy costs, and reduce your maintenance obligations.
Call us today at (800) 417-5664 for a free consultation and estimate!