Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Tips for Energy Efficient Windows


The cold weather season is fast approaching. That means coats, blankets, and higher heating bills. If you want to save money by replacing your old windows you only have a week or two to get it done before it's too late. In your rush, just make sure that you aren't making a mistake that will make your situation even worse. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track.
Panes

Windows are a just a piece of see-through insulation. They are meant to let light in but keep everything else out. The tricky thing is that glass itself is not a very good temperature insulator. That is why single pane windows are often still very cold. Forunatley we also have another very good see-through insulator.

Non-reactive gasses like argon and krypton are very good insulators. In two pane windows, the space between the layers of glass is filled with one of these gasses. The glass traps the gas and the gas stops the transfer of heat between your house and the outside environment.

If you are looking to really boost the efficiency of your house then get more panes in your windows. Efficiency goes up 50% when you change from a single to double pane and an additional 20% if you get triple pane.
Energy Rating

There are a number of different ratings systems out there that monitor the efficiency of windows. One of the best and most common is the Energy Star rating. This system is run by the government so they have a very strict and uniformed system for how windows are rated.

Before you make a final decision on which windows to purchase you will want to look at their performance ratings. This will give you a quick indicator on how similar windows compare to each other. Another added benefit is that buying an energy efficient window, in addition to cutting your heating bill, can qualify you for tax credits.
Fit and Trim

Nope, I'm not talking about your weight here. I mean all the stuff around your window that holds it in place and makes it look nice. Yeah, this stuff is important to the appearance of your window, a crooked window with no trim isn't very appealing to the eye, but it is also important to the energy efficiency of your window.

If you have the best windows money can buy but you installed them wrong you will still have all kinds of problems. A bad fit will leak in cold air and run up your heating bill pretty fast. Make sure that you are taking care during the installation. Measurements and insulation must be exact or you will be spending a lot of money and still freezing.

If you are not sure you are up to the task or you are worried about messing something up there are plenty of window replacement professionals that would be happy to help you.

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