When the time comes to replace the windows in your home, you have to decide between saving money now or later. Saving money on your windows now could mean choosing windows that are not energy efficient. By contrast, if you opt to buy higher quality windows with high energy efficiency ratings, you could save money over a long-term period. If you are interested in finding the most energy efficient windows, here are some factors to consider while shopping.
Windows with a low-E coating have a thin coating of metal on them. The coating helps to reduce heat loss throughout the colder months and heat gain in warmer weather. Low-E coating is available in a soft or hard coating.
Although both coatings can help to improve the energy efficiency of your windows, some models of soft coating offer a higher level of reduction of the sun's heat allowed into the home.
As an added bonus, because low-E coatings help to reduce the ultraviolet rays into your home, your furniture and carpets fade less.
Frosted and Tinted Glass
One of the most commonly believed misconceptions about frosted glass is that it helps to reduce the amount of ultraviolet rays allowed into the home. In actuality, it has very little effect, which makes them less than ideal if you are searching for energy savings.
By contrast, tinted glass is designed to reduce the sun's heat into your home. It also helps to reduce the visible light allowed in, which also helps to reduce fading of your furnishings. The darker the tint, the more energy efficient the windows are.
How the window operates is often overlooked when considering energy efficiency, but it plays a major role in energy savings. The operation can impact how much air is allowed in and out of your home.
For instance, an awning style window tends to have a low air leakage rate. On the other hand, single hung windows have a high air leakage rate. The same is true of single sliding windows. Fixed windows tend to have a low air leakage rate, but they are not ideal if you need ventilation in that area of the home.
There are other factors that dictate how energy efficient replacement windows are. Before purchasing your new windows, consult with a contractor to determine which windows would provide the best energy savings and fit within your budget.