Installations  /  January 13, 2020

A Buyer’s Guide to Energy Efficient Windows

Upgrading to energy efficient windows is a great way to save on heating and cooling bills while also keeping your home’s temperature consistent and comfortable.

Plus, they can add a lot to the value of your home – investing to upgrade your home’s windows can result in a 74% return on investment or more.

While you’re window shopping, here are a few things to look for:

What to Look For When Shopping for Energy Efficient Windows

ENERGY STAR Certification

When shopping for energy efficient window options, start by looking for the ENERGY STAR label.

ENERGY STAR-certified windows are manufactured by ENERGY STAR partners and have performance ratings that meet the strict efficiency guidelines set forth by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

NFRC Labels and Performance Ratings

The ENERGY STAR label is a great place to start, but to better compare different energy-efficient window options, take a look at their NFRC ratings.

The National Fenestration Rating Council is another independent organization that certifies and tests the performance of different energy-efficient doors, windows and skylights.

For windows, look for these four factors: 

1. The U-Factor 

How well a window keeps heat inside a room (low numbers are better)

2. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

How well a window keeps the sun’s heat out of a room, which is important during the summer (higher numbers are fine for northern climates with mild-to-cold seasons, while low numbers are better for southern climates with intense summer sunlight)

3. Visible Transmittance

How well a window lights your home naturally – more natural light can mean less spending on lighting and electric bills (high numbers are better)

4. Air Leakage

How much air a window may let in (low numbers are better)

Window Frame Materials

Choosing the right window frame material can make a huge difference in the energy efficiency of your home.

Generally, non-metal materials like composite, wood or insulated vinyl are better at reducing thermal transfer than aluminum or other metal frames.

Fiberglass window frames are usually the best choice for energy efficiency – but if you’re not sure which frames will work best for your existing window openings, a general handyman service can help you find the right solution for your home. 

Number of Panes

Single-, double- or triple-paned windows refers to the number of layers of glass in a window.

Double- and triple-paned windows have two or three layers of glass separated by a space filled with an inert, non-toxic, odorless gas like argon or krypton. This is designed to reduce heating or cooling losses from inside the home and prevent the sun’s rays or outdoor temperatures from transferring into the home.

Multi-paned windows can also help to soundproof your home, which can be useful if you live in a busy area. 

Look for windows with higher number of panes for higher energy efficiency and soundproofing for your home. 

How to Make Existing Windows More Energy Efficient

If you’re not looking at replacing your windows just yet, fear not; there are steps you can take to improve them. To help level up your old windows, a general handyman services company can:

  • Caulk and weather strip to close up air leaks and add insulation 
  • Add window treatments, coverings and coatings to existing windows
  • Add storm windows and panels 
  • Install exterior shading like overhangs or exterior blinds

Need help with installation? Call Handyman Connection

Whether you’re looking for environmentally-friendly ways to update your house or it’s just time to replace your old windows, reach out to Handyman Connection to have an expert craftsman tackle your window installation. We’re your local connection to general and specialized handyman services in your community, and are happy to help with whatever green-minded home improvements you may have on your 2020 to-do list. 

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