Tips for Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows

by Jennifer L. Stroh Viescas 05/30/2021

Older windows can end up costing you more on your heating and cooling bills. These windows can be drafty in winter and let in too much heat during summer. According to the Department of Energy, windows can account for up to 30 percent of energy usage in homes due to heat loss and gain. Replacing older windows with newer ones can help you save considerably on your energy usage. Use these tips to help you choose energy-efficient windows for your home.

Look for Labels

No matter what windows you’re thinking about getting in terms of the frame type or glass type, look for Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labels. Windows that meet the requirements for energy efficiency have the Energy Star label. NFRC labels provide you with a straightforward way to compare different aspects of a window’s performance.

Know Your U-Factor

U-factors on windows let you know how effective they are at stopping heat from escaping your home. Lower U-factors mean windows do a better job of trapping heat in your home, which results in lower energy bills during winter. The U-factor that works best for your home depends on the climate you’re in. This helps ensure that heated air stays inside your home.

Learn About Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) tells you how effective windows are at stopping heat gain from outside. A lower number means that windows are better at preventing hot outdoor air from getting inside, which is what you want during summer. If you live in a hotter climate, look for a lower SHGC number to help you save on the costs of cooling your home.

Consider Low-e Coatings

Low-e or low-emissivity coatings help prevent indoor heat from escaping your home, resulting in reduced energy usage and lower heating bills. This insulated glazing can lower energy loss from heat transfer by up to 50 percent, according to the Department of Energy. While windows with this coating cost more, you’ll save in the long run with reduced energy bills.

Reduce Air Leakage

The type of window you choose can affect how much air can leak out. Lower air leakage rates help reduce your energy usage. Certain types of windows, such as awnings, hinged windows and casement windows, have lower air leakage rates. Sliding windows, single-hung windows and double-hung windows typically have higher air leakage rates.

About the Author
Author

Jennifer L. Stroh Viescas

I began my real estate career in May 1993.  I learned quickly that there is more to selling homes than just looking at them.  Helping my clients with a life changing decision is my number one priority.  Helping them feel comfortable with all aspects of the transaction, from getting qualified, to viewing homes, to making an offer with all the proper documents, to reviewing any issues on the title commitment and survey, and finally signing closing documents and transferring ownership.  I continue to keep in contact with my clients even after all is said and done at closing.  My clients know that I am always available for all their real estate needs.  When my clients are ready to sell a property, I help them understand all aspects of market conditions, what to expect during the sale process and reassure them that I will handle all concerns of the sale.  I understand that their daily lives are busy, so I want to take on the challenges of the home sale, so the seller is not bothered with the intricate details.  After all, that is why they hired me.