Deciding if you need energy efficient windows for your home is an important consideration for both new and existing Pittsburgh homeowners. Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. If you are selecting windows for new construction or to replace existing windows, it’s important to choose the most efficient windows you can afford that work best in our Pennsylvania climate.
What are Energy Efficient Windows?
Energy efficient windows, also known as energy saving windows, are designed to prevent your heated or cooled air from escaping your home. Their increased insulation reduces your home’s energy usage and your energy costs, all while also making your home more comfortable overall.
Like most windows, energy efficient windows are made of glass; however, it’s what surrounds the glass that sets energy efficient windows apart from others. Most energy efficient windows are coated with a material that reflects UV rays, preventing them from entering your home. In addition, energy efficient windows usually have two, and sometimes even three panes of glass that make up the unit.
Can you Save Money with Energy Efficient Windows?
When deciding if you need energy efficient windows for your home, cost is likely a major factor. The Department of Energy estimates that you can save an average of 12% a year when you replace your windows with new windows with higher Energy Star ratings.
Your savings could be even greater. Energy Star studies show that replacing single pane windows with double pane can save between 21% to 31% off of heating and cooling costs.
What Should I Consider When Choosing Energy Efficient Windows?
Like most Pittsburgh homeowners, you probably understand the value and increased home comfort associated with energy efficient windows. If you are ready to move forward with energy efficient windows, there are some factors to consider when selecting the right ones for you.
– Frame Selection: When it comes to choosing your window frames you have options: vinyl, wood, aluminum, and wood-clad are the most common. A wood frame is less prone to heat and cold transfer than an aluminum one, since metals conduct temperature much more easily than wood; however, that doesn’t mean wood is always the best choice for your windows. When picking the right frame, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your style and your budget.
– Inside the Glass: Glass is glass, but finding windows with the most energy efficient properties is important. All windows in the voluntary Energy Star program will have a sticker on them with ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). To qualify for Energy Star status, window manufacturers have to meet standards on these two main metrics: U-value: measures a window unit’s resistance to heat loss and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): measures how much heat enters a home through the glass. For both U-Value and SHGC, the lower the number, the better the window should perform (HGTV).
– Design and Appearance: Some window designs are more efficient than others. When deciding if you need energy efficient windows for your home, appearance is sure to play a part in that choice. The style of window you want, may not be energy efficient, so you should talk to local window installation experts when making decisions on the right windows for your home.
– Proper Installation: Even the most energy efficient window will not perform effectively if it is not installed properly. Ensure that you have window installation and replacement specialists install your windows so they can make sure everything is sealed correctly and with the best materials for our Pittsburgh weather.
Ready for Energy Efficient Windows in Your Pittsburgh Home?
Whether you just need a single window replaced or you’re looking to change out all your home’s windows, contact us at Residential Glass. We’re Pittsburgh’s window replacement specialists. We help homeowners find the right windows for their home, helping them save money and avoid installation hassle.
Get in touch with us today for a free estimate. We’ll send an installation expert out to your home to learn about your project, take measurements, and get you a quote.