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Replacement Window Energy Savings
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Replacing old windows is one of the easiest and most apparent forms of energy savings. Old drafty single pane windows are very common in older homes. Having a single pane window is like having a leaky faucet. Air is constantly escaping your house. Replacing ineffective windows can give your house a refreshing new look while also saving energy and money in the future.

The name of the game is double pane. Double pane windows will save you money on your heating and cooling bills. They significantly reduce heat loss in the winter and can very easily reduce heat gain during the summer. It is suggested that a double pane window be covered with a special low-e coating (low emissivity). Where to apply this coating depends on your geographic location. A professional window contractor in your area can assist you in performing such a task.

Let us not forget about how important it is to glaze your windows. Multiple layers of glaze on your windows can insulate your house and keep heat inside. However, new technologies have developed and people are now focusing not only on the glaze, but on the thickness of airspace in between the windows. Thicker space creates better insulation. However, too much space is a waste as well. Anything beyond 1” will have no effect on your energy saving performance.

Multiple paned windows can be filled with argon or krypton gas to reduce heat loses and increases R-values. The higher the R-value (resistance to heat loss) the better insulation you have. The U-Value is another important thing to consider when replacing old windows. The U-Value is a measurement of heat transfer. The lower the U-Value, the less heat transfers. With low U-value window replacements, managing your homes heat lose and gain will become very easy. Make sure when comparing new windows that you are checking U and R values calculated for the entire window. Some manufactures only provide values for the center of the glass.

Last but least, make sure to look for a National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label on your windows (the NFRC has created industry-wide standards). The NFRC guarantees credible information on energy performance of windows. It is also recommended that your windows have low solar heat gain co-efficient (SHGC) to maximize energy benefits. The ENERGY STAR® logo will be a definite sign that your window is equipped with all of these energy saving aspects.

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