Shedding light on replacement window costs

July 25, 2011

Nothing makes a home seem cozy, like bright rays of warm sunlight streaming through the windows. But natural light is more than just a feel-good aesthetic; by allowing more light into your house you can save money on heating and electricity costs and have a cleaner, eco-conscience by being energy-efficient.

With a little thoughtful planning, you can minimize your window replacement costs and still maximize the brightness of your home.

More sun, less heat

There are several varieties of window glass to choose from, some of which absorb heat or harmful UV rays. The U.S. Department of Energy's website states that there are two things to consider: Visible transmittance (VT) and light-to-solar gain (LSG). The higher the VT number, which ranges between 0 and 1, the more visible light a window allows inside. The LSG measures how much heat enters the home in relation to light. A high LSG means that the window will allow a lot of light inside, without inviting a lot of heat.

Generally, clear window panes without any type of reflective or absorbent coating will bring the most light into your home, and it's also the least expensive type of glass. Consider low-emission, or Low-E glass, which has a microscopic, metallic coating that acts as a sort of bodyguard against heat, keeping it inside the house in winter, outside in summer.

Save energy, save money

In keeping with the green lifestyle that is being increasingly embraced by homeowners, today's top window brands have become more energy-efficient. In your hunt for replacement windows, look for ENERGY STAR certified brands. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy, which aims to recognize and reward manufacturers, who produce innovative, eco-friendly and energy-efficient products. In short, ENERGY STAR products help you save money and the planet.

These are some of the industry's top brands of energy-efficient windows:

  1. Andersen Windows and Doors: Andersen was one of the first window companies to achieve ENERGY STAR certification in all geographic regions. Their windows are made from partially recycled materials.
  2. Pella: Pella has earned top ENERGY STAR honors, including the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.
  3. Simonton: Simonton's vinyl windows are inexpensive, low-maintenance, and highly energy-efficient.
  4. Milgard: Milgard's large variety of glass options give you customized visibility. Choices include tempered, tinted, obscured and laminated glass.

The right glass can minimize both your immediate, and long-term, window replacement costs. Energy-efficienct windows are eco-friendly and wallet-friendly choices that will color your home with both golden sunlight and green sensibility.


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