Energy efficient windows are designed to keep cold air out and warm air in. These types of windows are multiple-glazed and they have low-E coatings. High quality edge spacers and frames are also commom with windows that are energy efficient. The advantages of these windows outweigh the disadvantages, but the downside is still worth mentioning.
Energy efficient windows reduce energy costs by eliminating the need to overcompensate for air leakage and entry during both the summer and winter months. Possible savings in climates with a significant heating season range from 11 to 24 percent. Savings depend on the condition of the window and type. Savings in climates that mainly require cooling range from 7 to 31 percent.
Low-E glass is protected by a thin layer of metal. This type of glass repels condensation that can cause frost to build up on windows. When frost collects on windows, the room feels colder, which will require extra heating.
Energy efficient windows are constructed to eliminate drafts. Drafty windows are one of the most common complaints when it comes to older windows. Cold glass creates uncomfortable drafts as air next to the window cools and drops to the floor. This creates a movement pattern that feels drafty and increases heat loss.
By protecting the home against leaks, drafts, and condensation, energy saving windows help reduce peak heating and cooling loads—lowering HVAC costs. This allows homeowners to install smaller heating and cooling systems, which cost less.
Energy saving windows don’t require tinting in order to perform. Tinting can reduce visible light and obstruct views. Less damage to furniture. The sun’s harmful rays can fade artwork, paper, fabric, carpet, and wood. Energy efficient coatings on glass reduce ultraviolet (UV) rays by up to 75 percent.
By purchasing windows that are energy efficient, you are doing your part to help save the environment. Improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.
The only disadvantage of energy efficient windows is cost. They cost more than other windows initially. However, the amount saved on heating and air conditioning bills will offset the cost in four to six years.
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Learn more about ENERGY STAR windows at energystar.gov.