How to Choose an Energy Efficient Window?
Shopping for new windows can be confusing with all of the different types available. Besides the size and style of windows, there are also many options pertaining to their efficiency. Most people are familiar with energy star windows Philadelphia County PA, which are windows certified by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council). This means the materials and construction of the windows have been tested and certified. However, if you want to go above and beyond the Energy Star rating, there are additional options you can consider.
Gas-filled windows are a great option if you live in a colder climate. Gas is pumped in between double or triple pained windows to form a thermal barrier which greatly reduces drafts. The most popular types of gases used are argon and krypton. Krypton is more expensive but is a slightly better insulator. Using argon is a cost-effective way to increase the efficiency of your windows. It is estimated that approximately 1% of the gas will leak out every year. This gas is not toxic. Windows that are 80% filled with gas are still highly effective. You can also use a combination of both gasses.
Low-e coatings on windows are extremely helpful if you live in a warmer client. This coating, done during the manufacturing process, reduces the amount of heat transfer through your windows. A thin coating of metal or metallic oxide is added to one or more panes of glass. This layer is invisible to the eye. Low-e coatings increase the cost of a window by approximately 10% to 15%. However, it has been shown to save 30%-50% on energy costs.
The window frame material makes a big difference in how efficient a window is. Wooden frames used to be the standard frame type. It insulates pretty well but requires maintenance. If not properly maintained, wood rot and decay reduce the thermal properties of the window. Composite window frames are made from a combination of wood materials and sometimes plastic polymers. This type of frame has similar thermal properties as wood but does not require as much maintenance. The best option would be fiberglass or vinyl frames which are hollow and can be filled with insulation. They are durable and require no maintenance. When filled with insulation, they are more efficient than wood or composite window frames.
These options will increase the cost of the window but remember that they will save you money in the long run. It’s also worth it to remember that the main goal of well-made windows is to contribute to the comfort of your home.