Modern replacement windows with multiple panes can increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. The amount of savings you will see depends on the features you choose for your new windows and where in America they are installed.
For your window replacement frames, choose a material that is both energy-efficient and durable. Vinyl meets this requirement: it is water resistant, resilient, and made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride). In most cases, vinyl is a low-maintenance and insulating material that can be upgraded with more insulation for better thermal performance.Fiberglass windows are another option for homeowners who want to save money on their utility bills. Your dealer will help you decide which type of fiberglass window is best suited for your aesthetic preferences and unique needs.
Features and Benefits
When you upgrade the material of your old windows to a modern option, like vinyl—while making sure you close any drafts—you can also lower their U-factor by adding extra features. U-factor is a measure of how well a window keeps heat in or out and indicates the energy efficiency of that window. You can add features to improve your windows’ U-factors by making them more energy efficient.These energy-efficient features include:
- Extra window panes – Double-pane windows are an excellent improvement over the single-paned models of yesteryear.
- Argon gas – Filling the gaps between window panes with argon gas may help keep your home’s interior temperature stable.
- Low-E coatings – The tiny metal coating applied to glass windows during the manufacturing process reflects heat, keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Extra insulation – Adding additional foam insulation to your window frames can make them perform even better than they do now.
Window Direction and Climate
In addition to considering the U-factor of a window, you should also factor in your climate and the SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) rating of that particular model. Replacing your old windows is one way to cut down on heating and cooling costs, but the combination of material used in the window itself, how energy-efficient it is and where you place it in relation to other windows will determine how much money you save.