Windows provide our homes with light, warmth, and ventilation, but they can also negatively impact a home’s energy efficiency. You can reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows in your home.
If your home has very old and/or inefficient windows, it might be more cost-effective to replace them than to try to improve their energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves. When properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs
If you’re constructing a new home or doing some remodeling, you should take the opportunity to incorporate your window design and selection as an fundamental part of your design plan and for building an energy-efficient home.
A window’s energy efficiency is dependent upon all of its components. Window frames conduct heat, contributing to a window’s overall energy efficiency, particularly its U-factor. (U-factor measures the rate of heat transfer. The lower the U-factor value, the better the product insulates.) Glazing or glass technologies have become very sophisticated, and designers often specify different types of glazing or glass for different windows, based on orientation, climate, building design, etc.
Even the most energy-efficient window must be properly installed to ensure energy efficiency. Therefore, it’s best to have professionals like Northern Windows and Doors install your windows. Window installation varies depending on the type of window, the construction of the house (wood, masonry, etc.), the exterior cladding (wood siding, stucco, brick, etc.), and the type (if any) of weather-restrictive barrier. Windows should be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and be properly air sealed during installation to perform correctly.
- Awning – Hinged at the top and open outward. Because the sash closes by pressing against the frame, they generally have lower air leakage rates than sliding windows.
- Casement – Hinged at the sides. Like awning windows, they generally have lower air leakage rates than sliding windows because the sash closes by pressing against the frame.
- Fixed – Fixed panes that don’t open. When installed properly they’re airtight, but are not suitable in places where window ventilation is desired.
- Hopper – Hinged at the bottom and open inward. Like both awning and casement, they generally have lower air leakage rates because the sash closes by pressing against the frame.
- Single-Hung and Double-Hung – Both sashes slide vertically in a double-hung window. Only the bottom sash slides upward in a single-hung window. These sliding windows generally have higher air leakage rates than projecting or hinged windows.
- Single-Sliding and Double-Sliding – Both sashes slide horizontally in a double-sliding window. Only one sash slides in a single-sliding window. Like single- and double-hung windows, they generally have higher air leakage rates than projecting or hinged windows.