Bow Window Energy Efficiency

October 11, 2010

Few window styles completely transform the front of your home or the interior of a room like bow windows can, and purchasing replacement windows for your house can be the perfect opportunity to install them. Bow windows are designed to be energy efficient, and with a proper installation they can contribute to the annual energy savings replacement windows can provide you and your family.

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Bow Windows Energy Efficiency Considerations

Bow windows can be purchased as a prefab unit with a roof and floor already provided, or you can do on-site framing and simply purchase windows for the openings. In both cases it is important the unit or framing be tied into your home properly, flashed to prevent air and moisture infiltration, and the ceiling and floor area should receive adequate insulation to keep your conditioned air inside and winter's cold outside where it belongs.

There are some bow windows energy efficiency considerations for the windows themselves whether they are part of a prefab unit or purchased separately. The windows should be snug in their frames, operate smoothly without feeling loose, and lock and seal securely. When two or more windows are used in close proximity, these two energy performance ratings are pretty important:

  • U-Factor..This is a measurement of the amount of airflow through a closed window over a period of time. Look for windows with low rating numbers as these indicate better performance.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)..This is a measurement of the amount of radiant heat from the sun allowed through a window. Look for lower numbers in this rating as well.

You can increase the energy efficiency of your bow windows by choosing options such as Argon gas between the panes and Low-E glass coatings, and hiring a professional contractor to install your bow windows can ensure it is all done properly.

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