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Older windows can end up costing you more on your heating and cooling bills. These windows can be drafty in winter and let in too much heat during summer. According to the Department of Energy, windows can account for up to 30 percent of energy usage in homes due to heat loss and gain. Replacing older windows with newer ones can help you save considerably on your energy usage. Use these tips to help you choose energy-efficient windows for your home.
Look for Labels
No matter what kind of windows you’re thinking about getting in terms of the frame type or glass type, look for Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labels. Windows that meet the requirements for energy efficiency have the Energy Star label. NFRC labels provide you with an easy way to compare different aspects of a window’s performance.
Know Your U-Factor
U-factors on windows let you know how effective they are at stopping heat from escaping your home. Lower U-factors mean that windows do a better job of trapping heat in your home, which results in lower energy bills during winter. The U-factor that works best for your home depends on the climate you’re in. For example, you should look for a lower U-factor if you live in a colder climate. This helps ensure that heated air stays inside your home.
Learn About Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) tells you how effective windows are at stopping heat gain from outside. A lower number means that windows are better at preventing hot outdoor air from getting inside, which is what you want during summer. If you live in a hotter climate, you should look for a lower SHGC number to help you save on the costs of cooling your home.
Consider Low-e Coatings
Low-e or low-emissivity coatings help prevent indoor heat from escaping your home, resulting in reduced energy usage and lower heating bills. This insulated glazing can lower energy loss from heat transfer by up to 50 percent, according to the Department of Energy. While windows with this coating tend to cost more, you’ll save in the long run with reduced energy bills.
Reduce Air Leakage
The type of window you choose can affect how much air is able to leak out. Lower air leakage rates help reduce your energy usage. Certain types of windows, such as awnings, hinged windows and casement windows, tend to have lower air leakage rates. Sliding windows, single-hung windows and double-hung windows typically have higher air leakage rates.