Garden Window Energy Efficiency

October 11, 2010

Garden windows can be great choices as replacement windows in your kitchen, master bath, or any room where you might want to highlight your indoor plants and herbs. All their glass and seams may cause you to have concerns about their energy efficiency, but if you shop wisely, they can save you energy dollars while you're watching your plants grow.

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Garden Windows Energy Efficiency Considerations

Garden windows are constructed of several glass panels that are joined together to form a box that fits against your home. The unique design means that there are some garden windows energy efficiency considerations that you may not have on most conventional windows. Good garden windows usually have vinyl, aluminum, or wood frames that allow the glass panels to fit securely together and lessen the chances of air and moisture intrusion. They also have a good flashing system that fits the unit snugly against the outside of your home.

The abundance of glass in garden windows means you should pay attention to two energy efficiency ratings assigned to most residential windows.

  • U-Factor. This is a measurement of the amount of airflow allowed through a closed window over a period of time. Lower numbers are better with this test.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). The SHGC is a measurement of the amount of radiant heat from the sun allowed into a home by a window. This can be an important number for a garden window and you should look for the more energy-efficient lower test numbers.

Garden windows can be just as energy efficient as any other replacement window in your home and you can even improve their performance with options such as Low-E glass and Argon gas between the glass panes. You may also want to consider having your garden windows professionally installed to ensure they are flashed and sealed correctly.

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