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

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

January 12, 2015

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!

Hear From Our Customers

This was a great crew to work with. Both the original install manager we worked with (Jay) and the install team (Daniel, Mason, Tony, Ethan, and Jose). Everyone was very professional and knowledgable. They answered all my questions and the end result on the house is great. In 3 days they replaced an old bay window with a new bay window, a set of french doors on the patio with a sliding patio door, and our old front door with a new front door and storm door.

I cant express how happy we are with choosing Andersen for our window installation. Our sales representative was knowledgeable with product and answered any questions we had without hesitation. I did also fill out a survey that was sent in an email, but sadly I failed to personally name the two gentlemen that performed the actual installation. Barrett and Francisco were our guys, and let me tell you, they were outstanding!!! They did Excellent work and were professional as well as efficient and made this a smooth, none evasive process for us. I strongly recommend this company and these installers to anyone in need of windows!!! My husband and I could not be more pleased we chose Andersen for replacing our windows!!!

Jason and Brett did an awesome job installing our doors. We had separate installers a month earlier for our windows who also did a fantastic job. They were all very professional and cleaned up almost better than the area looked before the installation! Since these were both jobs that took more than one day the installers were great at keeping us informed on the status of where the project was at along the way.

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Since its founding in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy has been a leader in energy efficiency policy and advocacy. Over the years, the Alliance’s programs and priorities have evolved as U.S. energy efficiency policy has grown.