Save on Energy Bills With Double-Pane Windows
Windows play a vital role in conditioning our homes, as they are the main openings to the external environment. In seasons where we want to keep them closed, our energy costs automatically rise. But little does anyone suspect how significantly these costs are affected by the structure and design of our windows. As per U.S. Department of Energy, heat gained or lost through a regular window shield translates into energy costs excessive of 20-25%. So, when windows are intended to act as shields to undesirable weather, they stand to fail if they are not primarily designed for it. That is the basic difference between regular single-pane windows and replacement windows which are deliberately designed as a double-pane shield. But you must know a little beyond this basic difference in order to determine the most suitable replacement windows. Below are some standard tips for that- Consider the whole window design for energy efficiency-This will include the window elements such as frames, weather trips, caulking, and spacers between the double panes, apart from multiple glazing panes. Otherwise, the benefit of multiple glazing will be offset by heat losses through these details.
Energy Star ratings can help you in all these areas. The Window Checklist for energy efficiency prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy for this selection process gives you details like going for non-metallic spacers, inert gas fill between panes and so on. Take note of your climatic zone-A reliable place to go again is the Energy Star website to find your climate zone classification and its recommendations on the window types most suited to it. Simply going for their guidelines and certified products by itself stands to save you at least 15% in energy costs.
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) lays down unbiased ratings arrived at by independent inspectors for all window criteria for energy efficiency. So look for this label too. Know the requirements of SHGC and U-factor for the different locations of replacement windows-While SHGC tells you the factor of heat gained from outside through your window, U-factor indicated the reverse factor of how much your windows let the internal heat leak out. Both these are important for energy efficiency, and again Energy Star on their website provides accurate advice for your climatic zone, as well as for the different orientations of windows in your house.
If you happen to live in Denver, check out your local dealers and ask them for a free in-home consultation or visit a few showrooms. Remember that each room in your home may require different insulation and getting an expert to guide you through the whole process will go a long way in helping you make the right choice. A Denver replacement window with the Energy-Star label may qualify you for cash rebates.