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What Are the Most Energy Efficient Windows?

5/22/2016 8:34:29 AM

Whether you’re installing new or replacement windows, energy efficiency is probably a top priority. After all, the more efficient your new windows are, the lower your heating and cooling bills become and the faster the investment pays for itself. As you search for the most energy efficient windows out there, make sure the ones you choose have the following characteristics.

Quality Frame Material

A variety of window frame materials offer important benefits such as durability, low maintenance and of course energy efficiency. Popular materials known to insulate well include vinyl, fiberglass, wood, wood-clad and aluminum. All of these materials have the potential to be Energy Star-certified, as long as they’re constructed with quality and efficiency in mind.

Multiple Panes of Glass

To maximize energy efficiency, you should install multi-pane windows. Double-pane windows are the most common, but triple-pane windows are even more efficient. However, the extra cost to purchase triple-pane windows is probably only worth it if you live in an extremely cold climate.

Warm Edge Spacers

The edges of a window are the most vulnerable place for heat transfer. This is where spacers are located to keep multi-pane windows set an exact distance apart. Look for windows featuring warm edge spacers designed to reduce conductivity and heat loss.

Gas Fill

Multi-pane windows are more efficient because they hold a pocket of air between each pane. You can increase the efficiency of this air pocket but filling it with an inert, non-toxic gas such as argon or krypton. These gases slow heat transfer through the window because they’re denser than air.

Low-Emissivity Coating

Low-e glass features a microscopically thin metallic layer designed to reflect UV rays and therefore reduce solar heat gain in your home. Keeping UV rays out also protects your furnishings from fading.

Low U-Factor

Every window earns a U-factor rating, which is the measure of heat transfer through the window. Ratings typically fall between 0.25 and 1.25. The lower the rating, the slower heat transfers through the window.

Low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

This rating tells you how well the window blocks heat gain caused by sunlight. SHGC is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, with lower ratings being the most desirable.

Low Air Leakage

A window’s AL is measured in cubic feet per minute. Look for a rating of 0.3 or lower for the most efficient windows.

Visible Transmittance Rating

The VT rating reveals how much visible light passes through the window, with higher ratings indicating that more light can shine through. For windows positioned on the south and west sides of your home, you may want to find windows with a slight tint and lower VT rating to keep out the glare. Windows on the north and east sides may benefit from no tinting to allow more light to pass through.

Weather Shield manufacturers some of today’s most energy efficient windows. For help selecting the right style for your project, please contact us directly or find a Weather Shield dealer near you.


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