Energy Efficient Windows
What makes home window designs energy-efficient? Do you need to replace your windows to make them more energy-efficient? Peak Custom Remodeling has the answers!
Standard and Energy-Efficient Window Designs
When it comes to energy efficiency, a “standard” window design usually has one layer of glass. This usually means that it offers less insulation from weather and noise.
The main feature of an energy-efficient window design is a double layer of glass. (Sometimes windows have a third layer, but these are rare for most homes.) Between the two layers is usually an insulating pocket of gas to keep heat out in the summer and inside during the winter, and so can reduce your heating or air conditioning use. This not only saves on energy costs but can reduce your use of fossil fuels.
Can You Make Standard Windows More Efficient?
If window replacement is not in your budget, or if you plan to sell your home soon and don’t want to put a lot of money into costly renovations, you can still take measures to increase the efficiency of standard windows.
- Removable storm windows can add a second layer of glass, helping to keep air from leaking in our out of the house.
- Caulking and weather-stripping can also help reduce air leakage.
- Window treatments and coverings can help keep out winter drafts or provide shade from the summer heat.
- Consider covering window interiors with clear plastic sheeting.
- Reflective films on south-facing windows can help reduce overheating.
When Are Energy-Efficient Window Designs a Better Option?
If you do not see a lot of improvement from the above suggestions, if your windows are older and ready for replacement, or if you intend to stay in your home for the long term, then you should consider replacing standard windows with more energy-efficient options.
Even if you aren’t as concerned about your budget, or your home is already comfortable, energy-efficient windows are still a good idea. Some research has found that the average home that replaces standard windows with ENERGY STAR certified double-pane windows may see annual energy savings of $101-$5,381.
For climates with both hot and cold seasons, including Maryland, energy-efficient windows should have low U-factors and low SHGCs to give you the most energy savings.
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