According to research, approximately 25% to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use is due to heat gain/loss through windows. If you are noticing that your energy bills are high, you might want to consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows today.
However, window companies have a wide variety of options, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Keep in mind that windows vary by region. Therefore, in order to get the best selection and advice for your area, it’s best to work with someone local. If you live in the West, Northwest, or Southwest suburbs of Chicago, consider working with the professionals at Ultimate View Windows.
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If you choose cheap windows, you may end up having to replace them sooner than you expect. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of upgrading to energy-efficient windows, as well as what factors you need to consider when making this decision.
Benefits of Energy-Efficient Windows
When making any purchase, it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to energy-efficient windows, the primary drawback is the cost. After all, they typically cost about 15% more than standard windows. However, most homeowners would agree that the benefits of these windows are worth the cost.
Some of the main benefits of energy-efficient windows include:
Modern, energy-efficient windows are typically better insulated than older windows. In fact, the insulation is what makes them energy-efficient. They keep the cold air out in winter and the hot air out in summer, which keeps the temperature in your home stable and reduces the strain on your HVAC system.
Reduced Energy Costs
While the investment is higher upfront, you get that money back in the long run through savings on your energy costs.
There are several reasons that energy-efficient windows are eco-friendly. First of all, the insulation reduces the demand for energy resources. Second, some manufacturers use sustainable materials.
Older windows allow UV rays to come into your home, which can cause the colors in your furniture, carpet, décor, and photos to fade over time. However, energy-efficient windows have a coating on them that blocks out harmful UV rays from your home.
Most people don’t realize it, but even indoors, your skin is susceptible to damage from UV rays. Energy-efficient windows block out harmful UV rays, which keeps your skin healthy and safe.
Factors to Consider
When choosing replacement windows, there are two major factors to keep in mind:
When choosing window frames, it’s important to note that some materials conduct temperature transfer better than others. The most common frame materials for energy-efficient windows include:
Vinyl is the most affordable option, allowing you to be “green” without breaking your budget. The biggest disadvantage to vinyl frames is the limited color options.
When it comes to insulation, wood frames are best. The biggest disadvantage is that these frames require more maintenance than other options.
This is a combination of a wood interior with a lower maintenance material, such as vinyl, coating. This reduces temperature transfer, as well as maintenance requirements.
Aluminum is the top-tier frame option. This material significantly reduces temperature transfer. However, you’ll need to pay attention to the rating because some are better at temperature transfer reduction than others.
The second factor to consider when choosing energy-efficient windows is the glass, as there are different levels of insulation and UV-blockage.
Basic models are double-paned with low-e coated glass and an argon filling between the panes. You can increase the insulation of the window by choosing a thicker glass, a different filler, or even consider triple-paned windows.
In order to determine the energy efficiency of a particular window, you’ll want to consider the following:
- U-value: resistance to heat loss
- Solar heat gain coefficient: amount of heat that gets through glass
The lower each of the above values is, the more energy-efficient the window is.
Ready to Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows?
If you live in the west, southwest, or northwest suburbs of Chicago and are ready to upgrade to energy-efficient windows, contact Ultimate View Windows today. We have more than 25 years of experience in the industry. We will be more than happy to offer a quote and help you get started on your window upgrades today.