The leaks around win­dows and doors in an aver­age home can be the cause of los­ing up to 30% of the homes heat­ing and cool­ing.   If your win­dows are in good con­di­tion you can take some steps to reduce the ener­gy loss but you may want to con­sid­er replace­ment of these if they are over 10 years old.

Steps to make your win­dows more ener­gy efficient:

  1. Find and seal the gaps with weath­er strip­ping or caulking.
  2. Install dou­ble glaz­ing. This will give you two lay­ers of glass sep­a­rat­ed by a lay­er of air.  This will help to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. It also will reduce noise. Adding a lay­er of glass must be done care­ful­ly but it can be done and is cheap­er than replac­ing the window.
  3. Upgrad­ing the win­dow frames costs less than new win­dows.  Choos­ing a frame with an effi­cien­cy rat­ing of 5 will be the most efficient.
  4.  Use win­dow treat­ments that will block drafts.  Heavy cur­tains and ther­mal cur­tains will give the best effect.
  5.  Install win­dow film.  Win­dow film is one of the best ways to make your win­dows more effi­cient.  Solar con­trol win­dow film will pro­tect you on sun­ny days.

Replac­ing your old win­dows can save you $100-$450 per year.  Your sav­ings will depend on your cli­mate, your home con­struc­tion, and your win­dows’ ener­gy effi­cien­cy rat­ing. There are dif­fer­ent types of win­dows and dif­fer­ent ener­gy effi­cien­cy ratings.

Types of win­dows for the most efficiency:

  1. Dou­ble hung win­dows are win­dows where the bot­tom half slides up to open the win­dow.  In real­ly extreme cli­mates this may not be the best choice because of the air intru­sion between the sliders.
  2. Case­ment win­dows are a good choice where wind is an issue.  These win­dows have cranks to open the win­dow out­ward.  They seal them­selves tighter when the wind blows toward the house.  You will have to main­tain the hinges and seals to ensure their efficiency.
  3. Pic­ture win­dows typ­i­cal­ly don’t open and glass choice is important.

Ener­gy per­for­mance rat­ings are based on the rate of heat loss from a build­ing and is indi­cat­ed as the U‑factor.  U‑Factor rat­ings for win­dows are usu­al­ly between .2 and 1.2.  The low­er the num­ber, the greater the effi­cien­cy.  The SHGC or solar heat gain coef­fi­cient will tell you how well a prod­uct will block heat from the sun.  The num­ber will be between 0 and 1.  The low­er the num­ber the better.

Win­dow frames are some­thing else to con­sid­er when replac­ing windows.

  1. Vinyl frames are a less expen­sive mate­r­i­al but if well con­struct­ed and prop­er­ly installed can offer excel­lent ener­gy efficiency.
  2. Wood frames have the best insu­la­tive val­ue but will have to have more upkeep than oth­er types of frames.
  3. Alu­minum may not be the best for heat trans­fer loss but is a good choice if you live in a rainy and/or humid area.
  4. Wood-clad frames have low main­te­nance exte­ri­or (usu­al­ly vinyl or alu­minum) encas­ing a tem­per­a­ture-trans­fer-resis­tant wood inte­ri­or.  The clad win­dows can have water intru­sion and cause rot­ting so this may not be the best choice in wet climates.

As you can see, there are many things to con­sid­er when replac­ing win­dows.  Local win­dow com­pa­nies can advise you on the best options for your home or business.

If replace­ment is not an option, you can also save mon­ey by choos­ing a third par­ty ener­gy sup­pli­er with bet­ter rates than util­i­ty com­pa­nies.  Triple “S” Ener­gy Man­age­ment can pro­vide you with a free and com­plete ener­gy audit and dis­cuss your options for the best avail­able rate for your busi­ness.  Give us a call to get start­ed today.