Environmental responsibility and sustainability are important concerns in today’s world. Many businesses are doing their bit and prioritizing eco-friendly practices. Businesses that are into making windows and frames have taken a big stride in this. Traditional windows can cause energy loss, which can lead to increased cooling and heating costs. The U.S. Department of Energy says that windows can be responsible for 25-30% of cooling and heating energy use in commercial and residential buildings. This data highlights the requirement for more energy-efficient windows.
Luckily, many homeowners now also understand that they can cut their power bills by replacing their windows with energy-efficient solutions. There are other benefits as well.
Benefits of Energy-Friendly Windows
Energy-efficient windows will not just lessen the impact on the environment. They will also make your house more comfortable and can also save you money. If you install the right windows for your climate, and if they have a high-efficiency rating, then the outside weather is less likely to impact the temperature in your home. A well-insulated window will prevent big drops overnight in the winter season because it is less likely that heat can escape through poor insulation or cracks. In the summer season, this window will prevent excess heat and light from passing through easily. As a result, your room will be cooler than the outside.
- Energy-efficient windows insulate the home and reduce the need for artificial cooling and heating. This brings down your energy bills.
- They can reduce noise pollution, block drafts, and maintain consistent temperatures indoors, which keeps you comfortable.
- They have special coatings that will block the harmful UV rays, which will prevent the artwork, flooring, and furniture from fading.
- These windows reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint and contribute towards a more sustainable and greener planet.
If you are thinking of replacing your windows, make sure to get these energy-efficient or eco-friendly ones. It will cost you some money initially, but in the long term, you will actually save. Plus, there are other benefits too as we have already discussed. https://www.myhomequote.com/windows/cost-calculator gives you a detailed breakdown of the cost of replacing your windows. you will have an idea of the cost of replacing multiple windows and the factors that can affect the cost, such as window size, type, location, and such others.
What Makes a Window Energy-Efficient?
The National Fenestration Rating Council tests skylights and windows and rates them based on heat loss and gain. The NFRC looks at these features –
- The frame material – Vinyl windows are popular. But the frames can be made also of fiberglass, aluminum, and wood. Aluminum frames are cheap. But they are the least efficient as aluminum is a good conductor of heat. Fiberglass frames will give you the best insulation. Wooden frames are energy-efficient too. Vinyl frames are hollow. They can also be good if you fill the cavities with additional insulation material.
- Multiple window panes – Glass is moderately good as an insulator. However, sunlight on the glass will heat it up. The heat will transfer easily into the home if you have single-pane windows. There will also be quick heat loss in the winter. You can block heat transfer by having multiple glass panes with additional insulation in between. For best results, switch to double or triple-pane glass windows.
- Window spacers – Strips of material between the glass panes are called spacers. They will keep your panes in place and also prevent any air leakage. The spacers that are most eco-friendly are of nonmetallic materials that do not conduct heat. This will lower the U-factor of your windows. U-factor measures the heat loss through a window.
- Gas fills – Eco-friendly windows also have a small amount of nontoxic noble gas between the panes apart from the spacers. There is argon gas in double-pane windows. This provides more insulation substantially. Triple-pane glass, on the other hand, has krypton gas, which provides more insulation but is costlier.
- Low e-coating – You can also coat or treat the window glazing to bring down its Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC, which is a measure of how much of the outside heat travels through the glass. Low-e coating, which means low-emissivity, is a common treatment. A low-e glass will reflect some UV and infrared rays, which will reduce the solar heat gain without blocking the visible light.
Installation Tips for Eco-Efficient Windows
You have to install these windows correctly to get the complete benefit. You will find these installation tips useful –
- Window Sizing – Make sure that the windows are sized properly to fit the openings. This will prevent air leakage. The windows that are sized improperly can cause drafts, which will reduce eco-friendly benefits.
- Sealants and weather stripping – Always use quality weather stripping and sealants to seal the gaps between your wall and the window frame. This will prevent the air leakage and will also improve insulation.
- Window orientation – Consider the sun’s angle and direction when installing your windows. In the colder season, windows that face the south get better solar heat. The right shading will reduce the heat gain in the warmer areas. Good window orientation will optimize your energy efficiency.
New science and technologies are transforming the windows. For example, squid-like liquid windows are being developed to reduce energy costs. We can expect many such innovations in the future to reduce the cost and also contribute towards a greener world.
Deciding to install an eco-friendly, energy-efficient window is the right decision. It is good for the planet and it will be a smart investment decision because you will be able to save money in the long term. Your home will also be a more comfortable place. Just make sure to consider factors like energy star rating, SHGC, U-Factor, the material of the window frame, and the right installation technique. Remember, a window isn’t just your portal to the world outside. It can contribute towards an energy-efficient and sustainable living space as well.