Picture Window Energy Efficiency
October 11, 2010
Pictures windows are most often used to create a frame around a beautiful view. They are fixed, meaning they do not open, and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, often custom made for your home. A picture window's energy efficiency is important to consider, especially if purchasing a very large picture window.
Energy Efficiency Ratings
Picture windows and all other windows receive an energy-efficiency rating based on three different factors. Non-solar heat losses and gains are first; anything that heats or causes your home to lose heat falls into this category, including conduction, convection, and radiation. Then second, of course, is the sun's impact on your windows and the related solar heat gains. Third, airflow is considered; opening your window is one thing, but if your window lets airflow in and out due to bad installation or design, or maybe loose, damaged seals, this can send your energy bills skyward.
When researching picture windows energy efficiency, look for Energy Star stickers, evidence the product has been rated by the Environmental Protection Agency and meets strict guidelines.
Picture windows often are naturally more energy efficient than other windows due to the fact they do not open; airflow is automatically restricted. But it's still important to choose double-pane or even triple-pane windows for greater insulation. Glass coatings can make a very big difference also; if you live in a warm, sunny area you want a reflective coating to keep the sun from heating your home too much, and if you live in a cold climate, you would benefit from a high solar gain glazing to retain more warmth. Even the most efficient window needs to be installed correctly to maximize its energy efficiency. Consider having a professional install your picture windows and you'll enjoy beautiful and energy-efficient views.