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Aluminum Window Energy Efficiency

October 10, 2010

The good news? Aluminum is a magnificent energy conductor. The bad news? When it comes to energy efficiency, a good conductor is precisely what you don't want. While aluminum may be more environmentally friendly than other styles of window frames, the energy you expend on heating and cooling your home can negate the material's easy recycling perks.

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Higher Conductivity and Lower Efficiency

Aluminum frames conduct heat and cold much faster than vinyl and other materials. During the summertime, the frames can actually conduct cold air out of your house, and in the winter, cold air can suck in through the conducting material. That means your air conditioner and heater have to work much harder than they would if you had vinyl, wood, or composite window frames.

Tips to Increase Efficiency in Aluminum Windows

Whether your aluminum windows are 50 years old or brand new, you might be wondering how to increase your aluminum windows energy efficiency. Fortunately, it's simple enough to build efficiency into the window with accessories like double weatherstripping and interlocking meeting rails. If you happen to live in a temperate climate that doesn't change much with the seasons, aluminum's conductivity won't matter as much.

Measuring Aluminum Windows Energy Efficiency

A closed single-pane aluminum frame window measuring 30"x30" has the power to transfer same amount of energy as an uncovered six-inch square hole in the wall. Because of their low efficiency, aluminum and aluminum-clad windows will likely not qualify for government energy rebates.


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