How to Decide on Replacement Windows: Energy-Efficiency Features Explained
Energy efficiency is a big buzzword when it comes to home improvement, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s pretty amazing how much energy–and money–you can save with simple projects like weather stripping your doors or installing additional insulation. With major upgrades like putting in energy-efficient replacement windows, you can actually save up to 30% off your heating and cooling bills. But when it comes to deciding on which windows Roof Nail Leak to choose for your home, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and confused. Sometimes it seems like window replacement has a language all its own; however, that jargon doesn’t have to get in the way of finding the perfect window for updating your home and downgrading your energy costs. Here we explain the most common features of energy-efficient home replacement windows so you can make an educated decision for your house and your bottom line.
U-factor: This is an overall measure of a window’s energy efficiency. U-factor measures a window’s resistance to thermal heat transfer, that is how much heat the glass will let in during the summer and how much heat the glass will let out in the winter. A variety of factors contribute to a replacement window’s U-factor, but this number can be used as a handy reference for all-around efficiency when comparing several models. The LOWER the U-factor, the better the window is at resisting heat transfer and the more it will help you save. For example, a window with a U-factor of 0.30 has more insulating capability than one with a U-factor of 0.40. Especially if you live in New England, where your home is subjected to both cold and hot seasons, a low U-factor can be critical for your new windows’ performance.
Low-e glass: Low-e stands for low emissivity and essentially indicates how much heat a material will reflect. For windows, low-e typically references special coatings applied to the glass to improve the glass’s naturally high emissivity. In plain English, low-e treatments help windows reflect heat: This keeps the heat out in the summer and in the winter. The smaller the number, the more heat will be reflected.
Argon/Krypton filled: In double-paned windows, the space between the two layers of glass has traditionally been filled with air or, in some cases, nitrogen. However, recent technologies have illustrated that filling that area with a different gas can reduce conduction and increase energy efficiency. The two most commonly used options are argon and krypton. Argon is a lower cost gas than krypton, but krypton does offer improved performance, so you’ll need to compare cost versus benefit to decide which is right for you.
Now that the terminology of window replacement makes a little more sense, you’re armed Roof Seal Repair with the information you need to determine which options are best for your home.