Energy-efficient windows help you save on energy, cut down on those pesky greenhouse gas emissions, and make your home cozier. This makes them a big deal for homeowners and renters alike.
With the cost of living consistently rising and the need to improve energy usage, now is the time to ensure that your home has the most energy-efficient windows possible. Energy-efficient windows not only put more money in your pocket but also contribute to a more sustainable future.
With 2024 just around the corner, let’s take a look at what different types and styles of windows are out there and when is the best time to replace your windows. Here are some of the highest energy-efficient windows for 2024.
The US Department of Energy outlines several types of window types and technologies and their energy efficiency score. Here are the various types of windows and their components to choose from:
Frames: The type of frame used can help improve the energy efficiency of windows. Here are three frame types to consider when designing or replacing your windows:
- 1. Metal Frames: Metal or aluminum window frames transmit heat quickly despite being incredibly sturdy, light, and nearly maintenance-free, making metal a poor insulator. Metal frames should have a thermal break — an insulating plastic strip inserted between the interior and outside of the frame — and a sash to reduce heat flow.
- 2. Wood Frames: Although wood window frames insulate effectively, they require regular repair. Metal-clad wood frames perform marginally worse in terms of thermal performance.
- 3. Composite Frames: Composite window frames are made of composite timber products such as particleboard and laminated strand lumber, as well as polymer polymers in some cases. These composites are exceptionally stable, have the same or greater structural and thermal properties than traditional wood, and are more resistant to moisture and decay.
Gas Fills and Spacers: Gasses, such as argon and krypton, help improve energy-efficient windows.
Argon is the most often utilized gas since it is cheap and functions well in a 1/2″ space. Krypton can be utilized when the space is narrower than usual — typically 14 inches. It outperforms argon in terms of thermal performance but is more expensive.
To keep the layers of glazing at the proper distance apart, spacers and accompanying sealants are employed. Furthermore, they accommodate thermal expansion and pressure changes while preventing moisture and gas escapes.
Glass Coatings: Glass coatings are another tool used to help increase the effectiveness of a window’s efficiency. Here are two of the most common coatings:
- 1. Low-Emissivity Coatings (Low-E): A Low-E coating is a thin, nearly undetectable layer of metal or metallic oxide put directly on the surface of one or more glass panes. Different Low-E coatings have been devised to provide for high, moderate, or low solar gain, and they can also be tweaked to limit the quantity of visible daylight transmitted. Although most low-E coatings are applied during manufacturing, some are available for do-it-yourselfers. Compared to whole window replacements, these films are less expensive, last 10 to 15 years without peeling, save energy, reduce fabric fading, and boost comfort.
- 2. Insulated – Windows having two or more panes of glass are referred to as insulated window glazing. The glass panes are set apart and hermetically sealed to create an insulating air space to insulate the window.
Not all windows are created equally — there are dozens of window types with a range of uses and benefits. Use the following information about window styles to select the highest energy-efficient windows for your home or business.
- 1. Insulated Windows: For centuries, a single pane of glass was the standard in windows. Then, late in the game, something novel occurred. Manufacturers discovered that adding an additional pane of glass gives additional insulation. Insulated windows are more than just extra panes of glass. Each windowpane is also separated by an insulating gas. Triple-pane windows have five layers of insulation, two more than dual-pane windows and four more than single-pane windows, allowing you to get even more energy efficiency out of each pane.
- 2. Low-E Glass: Low-E glass is intended to suppress wavelengths of sunlight. They specifically filter UV rays, which cause skin damage and fade materials such as furniture and clothing. At the same time, low-E glass will assist in preserving the heat inside your home during the winter. Although low-E glass coatings can be added to existing windows, having brand new low-E glass windows installed is the most effective way to filter UV radiation. These windows are ideal for windows that face west or south and receive a lot of direct sunshine.
- 3. Hinged Windows: Hinged windows are intended to provide ventilation. They swivel outward on a hinge with the twist of a crank or the push of your hand. This design has a significant advantage over sliding windows in terms of air leakage. When a hinged window is closed, the single sash is pressed tightly against the frame.
- 4. Awning Windows: Awning windows are essentially casement windows that swing open vertically. Awning windows, like casement windows, allow good ventilation and often seal well. This option is standard in bedrooms. Because the crank mechanism is reasonably easy to operate even when reaching, they can be positioned in high or narrow positions.
- 5. Horizontal Sliding Windows: Horizontal sliding windows are perhaps more widespread than any other style because they are adaptable and reasonably inexpensive. Horizontal sliding windows are frequently broader than single or double-hung windows that open vertically.
Horizontal Sliders are available in single and double-slider configurations. Cleaning the outside of a horizontal sliding window from within the house is usually simple. They are, however, significantly less energy efficient than hinged windows and may occasionally accumulate dirt/grime in their sliding channel.
How Often Should I Replace My Windows?
Some indicators of window wear and tear are evident, while others are not. Factors like temperature, material, and installation quality all have an impact on the longevity of your windows. Let’s talk about how often you should replace your windows and the factors that influence that timeframe. Here are some things to look for when replacing your windows with the highest energy-efficient windows out there:
- 1. Age: Most experts think that high-quality windows should last between 10 and 15 years. If your windows are that old, it may be time for replacement. Windows at that age does not perform as well as it did when it was first installed.
- 2. Damage: If your windows are damaged, it’s time to replace them. Damage can take many forms, including cracks, chips, and broken glass. Not only are damaged windows unsightly, but they can also be a safety hazard. Because of this, if you notice that your windows are damaged, it’s important to address the issue promptly.
- 3. Condensation Build-Up: Water that develops between your windows can only be caused by one thing: a damaged and no longer airtight seal. Fog or condensation between panes can signal seal failure, allowing moisture into your window panes.
- 4. Energy Efficiency: Another factor to consider when deciding whether or not to replace your windows is their energy efficiency. Older windows use more energy than newer ones, resulting in greater energy bills and less comfort. New windows are built to be high efficient energy windows, which will save you money in the long term. If you have a high energy bill or your home is drafty or uncomfortable, you should think about replacing your windows and recoup some costs.
- 5. Security: Windows play a significant part in home security. Your home may be vulnerable to break-ins and burglaries if your windows are old, damaged, or have weak locking mechanisms. Replacing your windows with newer, more secure types will provide you with peace of mind while also protecting your house and family. Look for windows with strong frames, laminated or tempered glass, and locking systems that satisfy industry security standards.
Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Windows to High Efficient Energy Windows? Northern Utah Glass is Here to Assist You
Are you ready to improve the beauty and comfort of your home with energy-efficient windows? Northern Utah Glass is the place to go for professional window installation. Our knowledgeable and talented personnel are committed to providing high-quality window solutions that are tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Don’t settle for mediocre windows and installation when you can rely on our knowledge and dedication to perfection.
Contact Northern Utah Glass to set up a consultation and begin the process of replacing your windows with high efficient energy windows. Our skilled and pleasant staff will walk you through the entire process, from picking the correct windows to ensuring a smooth installation. Because we recognize that every property is unique, we provide a variety of window styles to meet your specific needs, including vinyl and wood windows.