Replacing Outdated Glass

5 FAQs About Energy-Efficient Windows

Energy-efficient windows are growing in popularity for many reasons. They reduce your carbon footprint and lower your heating/cooling bills. If you have been considering installing energy-efficient windows, but you don't know much about them, check out these five FAQs.

How Do They Work?

Energy-efficient windows work in several ways. One of the best ways they work is by blocking certain wavelengths. The low-E coatings on the glass, stop radiant heat transfer of UV light. This is the dangerous light that is invisible but can cause damage to skin and materials, such as your flooring or furniture. Another major way energy-efficient windows help is with insulating gasses. If you get double-paned windows, the area between the glass panes is filled with special gasses that prevent the transfer of heat. They also keep the windows warmer, so when air touches the windows during the winter, it doesn't cool, creating cold drafts.

Do You Need to Check the R-Value?

Typically, when you are checking insulation values, you want to know the R-value. However, windows are a little different. Instead of using an R-value, they use a U-factor. As with R-value, the higher the U-factor the better the insulation properties. However, the numbers are much different than R-values, ranging from less than or equal to 0.27 to less than or equal to 0.60. Depending on where you live, you'll need a different U-factor, but usually, the hotter the environment, the higher U-factor you want. The factor also depends on whether you are installing regular windows or skylights. Skylights typically require a higher U-factor.

When Is the Best Time to Purchase Them?

The best time to purchase energy-efficient windows is in the summer. For starters, they are usually cheaper during the summer. Many providers offer special deals for august installation. This is because by late summer, most people are done installing windows, so providers are trying to attract customers. Make sure to schedule the installation in early summer. It's also a good idea to install new windows in summer because there is less moisture. When there is too much moisture, the window may not fit correctly, the caulk may not set. This can decrease the energy-efficiency of the windows and/or cause you to need to pay for expensive repairs.

Are There Limited Frames?

When you imagine energy-efficient windows, you may picture vinyl frames because vinyl is incredibly energy-efficient. However, many people don't like the "plastic" look of vinyl. Luckily, vinyl isn't your only option for energy-efficient windows. Other materials include fiberglass, aluminum, wood, composite and combination frames. Each type of frame has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, wood is attractive, but requires a lot of maintenance. Aluminum frames are durable, but if they don't have thermal brakes installed, they will allow heat transfer through the metal. Vinyl frames are low-maintence and usually the cheapest option, but they aren't the most durable and not attractive.

Will They Increase the Value of the Home?

Energy-efficient windows are a major investment in your home, but they are just that: an investment. They do increase the value of your home. You'll need to replace all your windows with energy-efficient windows to see a good ROI. Of course, that's the only way to get the energy-saving benefits too, so it's silly to only replace a few windows. The ROI on energy-efficient windows is quite high. The lowest is probably vinyl windows, but you'll get an ROI of about 72.9 percent. Other framing materials will generate better ROIs.

There's no reason not to install energy-efficient windows. You'll generate savings each month on your heating and cooling. Plus, when it's time to sell your home, you'll get a great return on investment. For more information about energy-efficient windows, contact glass and aluminum door repair services.