In the past decade or so, there’s been a lot of talk about going ‘green’. And while saving the environment is certainly a worthy goal, it’s not the only reason to consider energy-efficient windows for your home.
In fact, there are a number of benefits that come from making this switch — benefits that go beyond just being eco-friendly.
In this article, we’ll explore the top five benefits of energy-efficient windows so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not they’re right for you.
We’ll also go into depth about what constitutes an energy-efficient window, as well as what makes them a worthwhile investment for your home.
What Are Energy-efficient Windows?
To put it simply, energy-efficient windows are designed to help keep your home’s temperature consistent, no matter what the weather is like outside.
They do this by trapping heat inside during the winter and reflecting heat away in the summer. This helps to reduce your reliance on heating and cooling systems, which saves you money on your energy bills.
For them to be considered energy-efficient, windows must meet certain criteria set by the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR® program. In order to earn the ENERGY STAR label, windows must:
- Be designed and manufactured to reduce air leakage
- Be made with low-emissivity (Low-E) glass, which helps to reflect heat back into the home
- Be insulated properly in order to reduce heat transfer
Let’s now take a look at some of the ratings that correlate with energy efficiency in windows:
The U-factor: This is a measure of how well a window prevents heat from escaping. The lower the U-factor, the better the window is at insulating. Typically, you’ll want windows with a U-factor of 0.30 or below.
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): This is a measure of how well a window blocks heat from the sun. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat will be transmitted into your home. For windows in hot climates, you’ll want an SHGC of 0.40 or below. All in all, when choosing a certain rating, you should take into account the climate of the region where your home is located.
The Air Leakage Rating: This is a measure of how well a window prevents air from passing through it. The lower the rating, the less air that will be able to pass through. To be considered energy-efficient, windows should have an air leakage rating of 0.30 or below.
The Visible Transmittance (VT) Rating: This rating — denoted as either 0 or 1 — measures how much light is allowed through the window. The higher the VT, the more light that will be let into the home.
To sum up, energy-efficient windows will have a low U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient, and air leakage rate, as well as a high visible transmittance rating.
Now that we’ve looked at what constitutes an energy-efficient window, let’s explore some of the benefits that come from making the switch to energy-efficient windows for your home.
Top 5 Benefits of Energy-efficient Windows
Benefit #1: Save Money on Your Energy Bills
One of the most obvious benefits of energy-efficient windows is that they can help you save money on your energy bills.
By trapping heat inside during the winter and reflecting heat away in the summer, energy-efficient windows help to regulate the temperature in your home — which means you won’t have to rely as much on your heating and cooling systems. And when you don’t have to use your HVAC system as often, you’ll see a decrease in your energy bills.
In fact, studies have shown that switching to energy-efficient windows can lead to a reduction in energy bills of up to 15%.
Benefit #2: Improve the Comfort of Your Home
Another benefit of energy-efficient windows is that they can help to improve the overall comfort of your home.
Because energy-efficient windows help to regulate the temperature in your home, you won’t have to worry about extreme temperature changes — which can be uncomfortable, not to mention unhealthy. Additionally, energy-efficient windows can help to reduce drafts and cold spots in your home.
Benefit #3: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
When you switch to energy-efficient windows, you’re not just saving money — you’re also helping the environment. By reducing your reliance on heating and cooling systems, energy-efficient windows help to lower your carbon footprint.
In an article from Style Magazine, studies have shown that energy-efficient windows have led to a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 547 million metric tons over the past 30 years.
Benefit #4: Protect Your Furnishings From Fading
Did you know that energy-efficient windows can also help to protect your furniture and flooring from fading? It’s true!
Because energy-efficient windows reflect harmful UV rays away from your home, they help to prevent your furnishings from fading. In fact, some energy-efficient windows come with a special coating that blocks up to 99% of UV rays — making them an excellent choice for homes with lots of windows.
Benefit #5: Increase the Value of Your Home
If you’re thinking about selling your home in the future, energy-efficient windows can also help to increase its value.
Since energy-efficient windows are becoming increasingly popular among homebuyers, switching to energy-efficient windows can make your home more attractive to potential buyers — and lead to a higher sales price.
As it happens, according to the National Association of Home Builders, energy-efficient features like ENERGY STAR-certified windows are considered essential or desirable by 89% of consumers. So there you have it!
As you can see, there are many reasons to consider energy-efficient windows for your home. If you’re looking for ways to save money, increase comfort, and reduce your impact on the environment, energy-efficient windows are a great option.
When shopping for energy-efficient windows, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR label. This will ensure that you’re getting a product that meets strict energy efficiency guidelines.
Also, if you’re planning to install energy-efficient windows in your home, it’s important to remember that the quality of the installation process is everything. Be sure to hire a qualified and experienced contractor to install your energy-efficient windows — otherwise, you may not get the full benefit of the energy savings.
Looking for Qualified and Experienced Energy-efficient Window Installation?
If you’re interested in energy-efficient windows for your home, we can help.
We offer a wide range of energy-efficient windows — including ENERGY STAR-certified products — and our team of qualified and experienced contractors can handle the installation process from start to finish.
To learn more about our energy-efficient windows and installation services, contact us today! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote.