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With the rising cost of living, homeowners need to invest in energy efficient windows. Some homeowners prioritize new blinders, window treatments, and paints when shopping for home windows, forgetting to consider their energy efficiency.
Your home may lose up to 30 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling due to inefficient windows. Energy efficient windows affect the amount of sunlight coming inside and could prevent air leakage through window openings. Therefore, such windows are ideal for homeowners in San Antonio, TX, who wish to cut down their energy bills.
Before installing new windows, it’s essential to understand their energy performance features. Once you understand their energy performance, you will know how much heat or light is likely to be transmitted through your window, as well as the amount of air leakage to help you determine the amount you may spend on energy bills.
Here’s what you need to know about energy efficient windows.
Energy Performance Ratings
The National Fenestration Rating Council provides testing and certification for energy efficient windows. Windows that meet qualifications are given energy star labels to help buyers identify them easily in the market.
Your windows can lose or gain heat through direct conduction through glass or frame, air leaks, or radiation of heat into and out of the house from room-temperature objects such as furniture, individuals, or interior walls.
Energy performance ratings show you how these windows can maximize passive solar design. There are three main energy performance ratings for windows, including:
i) Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) measures the amount of solar radiation and heat transmitted by windows into the house. It tells you how effective the window you choose can block heat produced by sunlight. The SHGC measures values from zero to one; the lower the value, the lesser the solar heat transmitted into your home.
Windows with high SHGC are good at allowing solar heat into homes during winter. For this reason, homeowners are advised to select windows that have SHGC greater than 0.6 to maximize heat gain.
Investing in energy efficient windows with low SHGC ratings may help you enjoy a cool indoor environment by blocking heat gain from the sun. You may have a chance to reduce air conditioning bills by installing such windows compared to having windows with extra panes of glass.
Therefore, your home’s climate and external shading may determine SHGC ratings for a particular window. You can consult a window expert nearby to help you determine a perfect window for your home.
Also, called U-Value, it measures the rate of heat transfer. It indicates how much heat is lost or gained through home windows. The entire windows, including spacers, and frames are considered when measuring U-factor.
The energy efficient windows with a U-Factor equal to below 0.35 ensures less heat is transferred via the glass.
Lower U-factor gives more of these windows with better insulation and good resistance to heat flow. Such windows are an option for homeowners living in areas that receive direct sunlight.
iii) Air Leakage
Air leaks contribute to the loss of about half of your home’s heating and cooling energy to the outdoor environment. If you want to determine how much air penetrates your home, energy efficient windows need to have the required rating. The ratings range from 0.1 to 0.3 with lower values indicating the windows are effective at keeping air out of the house.
However, air leakage may change over time due to expansion, contraction, or warping of window materials. It may also be affected by how well the window pieces are joined together. Properly installed windows offer better blocking against air leakage. If you live in windy areas, you may choose windows with lower air leak ratings.
Ability to Transmit Sunlight
Windows may allow or block sunlight contributing to home’s windows energy efficiency. Your home windows’ ability to transmit sunlight may be measured and rated according to the energy performance features explained below.
i) Visible Transmittance(VT)
For starters, Visible transmittance is useful in estimating the amount of light penetrating your home, with values ranging between zero and one. Depending on your geographical location and the sunshine getting into the house, you may choose lower or higher visible transmittance windows.
Windows with high visible transmission are easy to see through and allow natural daylight. Besides having a nice view, these windows may also save you energy since you may not have to use artificial light.
Luckily, with the innovative technology, some of these windows have low-E coatings whereby a window can have high visible transmittance with a lower solar heat gain that ensures a comfortable indoor environment. Also, if you wish to enjoy a cool home in summer, you may go for windows with lower visible transmittance.
ii) Light to Solar Gain(LSG)
Light to solar gain is the ratio between solar heat gain coefficient and visible transmittance, which measures your home window’s efficiency to allow sunlight while blocking heat gains that comes with it. Higher LSG values give windows that allow more light transmission without adding excessive heat to your home. If LSG is more significant than 1.0, then glazing may transfer more light compared to heat. If you live in hot climates, such windows might be an option for your San Antonio, TX home’s windows to enhance cozy indoors.
Expressed from one and 100, condensation resistance measures how much a window can allow moisture buildup on its surface. Energy efficient windows with lower values can allow a lot of moisture buildup resulting in mold growth or discoloration.
Therefore, choosing windows with higher values can be a good thing to do since they effectively prevent condensation, helping you evade future problems such as window damage and the resulting replacement costs. Windows with high condensation ratings may be an option for individuals residing in areas experiencing heavy rains.
First Place Windows: A Reliable Company Near San Antonio, TX
Suppose you’re looking for energy efficient windows that not only reduce heating or cooling energy consumption but also give you a relaxed home. In that case, you can consult experts at First Place Windows to help you make an informed decision. We can also give you ideas on the types of windows that are suitable for your geographical location.