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The Truth About Energy Savings and Windows – Part 2: Energy Efficiency in Windows

Your home’s windows play a significant role in keeping your home energy efficient. However, is paying for an energy efficient window worth the extra cost? How exactly does an energy efficient window differ from a regular one?

Saving energy throughout the year

Most people think that energy efficient windows are simply about keeping indoors warm. While that’s a good thing during winter season, a window that keeps indoors warm during summer will actually put more strain on the HVAC. The real secret to energy efficiency is being airtight – preventing regulated indoor air from seeping out so the HVAC doesn’t have to work extra to maintain desirable room temperatures.

Every single part of an energy-efficient window is properly designed to make sure the household use as little electricity as possible without compromising indoor comfort. This is made possible by keeping as much of the indoor air inside and outdoor air from getting in.

Glass panes

Perhaps the defining feature of an energy-efficient window is the presence of low-E glass panes. A low E or Low Emissivity Glass pane helps reduce indoor heat by reflecting away and partially absorbing whatever didn’t bounce off the panel surface. Low-E glass panes are usually tinted or coated, but clear variants are also available. Some windows also have double-glazing and a gas fill that further reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the window.

Airtight makes it right

A big part of a window’s energy efficiency comes from its ability to form an airtight seal when shut, keeping regulated indoor air from escaping through small gaps. In addition to rubber or plastic weather stripping to keep air from escaping, insulating foam may be used to seal the sides of the window during installation. It can then be covered with aluminum trim to preserve the window’s aesthetic appeal.

Energy-efficient materials

Features like multiple panes of glass and advanced weather stripping make a window energy efficient. However, the material the frame is made of can maximize the insulation properties. For example, insulated and composite vinyl frames have better heat resistance than old, aluminum frames, which change temperature quickly when exposed to sunlight or cold.

Those features make the window energy efficient, but there’s more you can do to maximize your windows! Check out part 3 of this blog series, coming soon, to find out how!

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