Windows are a crucial part of any home environment. They transform a property from a dark and constricted block of bricks and cement, into a warm and welcoming location in which to thrive and grow. A collection of carefully designed windows situated throughout your home will provide rooms with warmth, light, and ventilation – however there is one negative. Most people are shocked to learn that up to 25% of the heat in their home can be lost through their windows alone. This means that windows have a huge impact on your energy efficiency. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce energy costs and lower your negative impact on the planet by installing energy-efficient windows into your home.
What Are Energy Efficient Windows?
Energy efficient windows look just the same as conventional windows – however, they utilize special material and construction efforts to ensure that their design keeps warm air in, and cold air out. These types of windows are usually known as “multiple-glaze” windows and are equipped with low-E coatings. Common features of energy efficient windows include edge frames and spacers intended to seal your home to maximum benefit.
Unfortunately, as useful as energy efficient windows may be, they are generally quite expensive to purchase and install, which can put people off who are struggling to maintain a particularly tight budget. If you’re unsure about whether going energy efficient is right for you – it may be worth weighing up the costs and benefits.
The Benefits of Going Energy Efficient
Installing energy efficient windows opens a homeowner up to a wide range of different benefits. First and foremost, by going energy-efficient, homeowners can rest assured that they are doing their part for the planet, as insulating glass tends to reduce the amount of CO2 a home puts out into the environment – thereby lessening your carbon footprint.
Of course, the advantages don’t just exist for those looking to go green. Energy efficient windows also allow you to keep more money in your wallet by reducing energy costs. Because you will lose less air through leakage during both the winter and summer months, you will not have to overcompensate with your heating and air conditioning – therefore reducing your overall bills. You may even find that you are able to install a much smaller HVAC system, which will also cost you less in the short-term.
One of the most common complaints surrounding older windows is that they often let in drafts and uncomfortable changes in temperature – creating cold spots in rooms and increasing the need for excess heating devices. Because energy efficient windows are constructed specifically to eliminate drafts, you can also benefit from a more comfortable home environment. You can even benefit from better views and light throughout your home, as energy efficient windows do not require tinting in order to perform well.
Weighing the Costs
The truth is that the most significant – and perhaps the only disadvantage of installing energy efficient windows is the costs that you will incur. It’s safe to say that you can expect to pay out a great deal more in initial finances when installing your windows initially – however, it can be easy to see that over time, the amount of money you save on air conditioning and heating bills will gradually offset the cost.
What’s more, it’s not just the energy bills that you’ll save cash on over the long term. Energy efficient windows generally cause less damage to furniture, meaning that you have to replace your interior furnishings less often. Most people know that the harmful rays of the sun can have a negative impact on fabric, carpet, artwork, wood, and even wallpaper, but energy efficient coatings can reduce the damage caused by ultraviolet rays by as much as 75%. You could even find that you spend less money on maintenance as a result of mold caused by condensation – as energy efficient windows use low-E glass – a form of window protected by a thin layer of metal. This type of glass is ideal for repelling condensation that can cause frost to build on windows and lead to moisture within the home.
Should You Get Energy Efficient Windows?
Today, energy-efficient windows seem to pay for themselves more often than not, through a combination of lower cooling and heating costs, lower lighting costs, and even reduced expenses for furniture and maintenance. When properly selected and carefully installed, energy-efficient windows could make your home more comfortable and economical than ever.
Image: Bryn Pinzgauer