Insulation works by trapping air or other gases. This is why your puffy, down jacket keeps you warmer than your windbreaker. Both stop the drafts, but that windbreaker lets your bodyheat radiate away from you. The question is: Why would you allow your home to have the equivalent of windbreakers for windows? Let's examine the role of energy efficient windows.
If water leaks through window frames, or condensation forms, your windows are not airtight. Moisture also creates mold that may negatively impact your health while rotting away window frames and walls. To add insult to injury, condensation obscures the view from your windows.
What to Look for in a New Window
ENERGY STAR-rated windows are energy efficient windows that come in dozens of combinations of frame materials, sealed panes, and coatings..
- Frame materials: Conductivity of window frame materials from lowest to highest is: fiberglass, insulated vinyl, clad wood, wood, and aluminum. Yet aluminum, which is very strong, can be be ENERGY STAR-rated if it's insulated and has a thermal break material between pane and frame.
- Window panes: Air sealed between panes works well in mild climates. Inert gases are heavier than air and insulate better. Triple-pane fiberglass windows with inert gas are the ultimate in energy efficient windows.
- Coatings: Microscopically thin metallic coatings inside sealed panes enhance the low emittance (Low-E) of energy. There are also coatings for impact and sound reduction.
The U.S. Department of Energy's ENERGY STAR website has a wealth of information for every climate and region. Perhaps it's time to start enjoying monthly savings with new windows. And don't forget your doors, where the same principles apply.
April 15, 2015
Energy Star made some changes between 2014 and 2015. So are your windows still meeting their standards? Find out here.... More >>
April 24, 2012
Sustainable window treatments can cut your energy use while protecting your family from toxic chemicals. Explore some of the latest choices.... More >>
April 02, 2012
For 20 years, ENERGY STAR has developed ratings for windows, doors and appliances, helping us save almost $230 billion on utility bills.... More >>
- Are you ready for the Smart Grid?
- Insulate to cut home energy costs
- How green windows can cut energy bills
- Shopping for sustainable doors
- Press the Green Button for energy savings
- Window glass spacers: more important than they seem
- Are you paying too much for electricity?
- Low-e replacement windows: which coating works best?
- Weatherstripping Doors and Windows: Self-Adhesive Rolls Plus More Durable Choices
- New Home Windows - Energy Efficiency is the way to go
- New Windows: Seven Reasons to Consider Your Climate When Buying Them
- Replacement windows in Chicago: Climate Extremes and Tax Credits Make This An Ideal Time to Toss Those Old Chicago Windows
- Denver Replacement Windows: Upgrade for Comfort and Reduce Energy Bills
- California Windows Replacement Guide
- Replacement Windows in Seattle
- Maryland Windows Replacement Guide
- Window Pane and Frame Materials: Finding Your Best Options
- Windows and Doors Play Role in Energy Efficiency
- Energy Saving Windows: The Benefits of Insulated Glass
- Benefits of Installing Energy Star Windows
- Vinyl Windows Offer Easy Care, Energy Savings
- Insulated Glass: Energy Saving Windows and Great Style
- Insulated Window Designs That Help Save Energy
- Slam the Door on Wasting Energy with New Windows and Doors
- Are You Insulated? Windows and What to Look For
- One Step in Home Energy Conservation: Energy Saving Windows
- Replacement Windows Offer Energy Saving Benefits