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If it’s always too cold in your San Antonio, TX home in winter or too hot in summer, you’ll be all too familiar with the need for energy efficient windows. While changing seasons will naturally have an effect, your windows can be an unsuspected culprit. Even if you have your windows closed as often as possible throughout the colder months, windows of poor construction can create unpleasant drafts. Choosing energy efficient windows to replace your old windows will do wonders for your home comfort.
By generally improving your home’s ambient temperature and reducing the likelihood of drafts, you can drastically reduce your heating and cooling expenditure year-round. To see the greatest energy savings, and therefore lower energy bill costs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends new windows you install have at least the following characteristics:
- U-factor of 0.30 or below and SHGC of 0.25 or below for standard windows
- U-factor of 0.53 or below and SHGC of 0.28 or below for skylights
- Energy Star certification
The U-factor is the measurement used to indicate the rate of heat transfer. The lower the number, the better the insulation. Windows that meet or exceed U-factor performance ratings are designed to successfully keep warmth in on cold days and keep heat out when it’s warmer outside. Multiple factors will affect this rating, including whether your windows have a low-E coating, glazing. Frame material also plays a part in this rating.
The SHGC rating is used to indicate the amount of solar energy that’s transferred through the window, used to advertise how effective the window is at blocking any heat caused by direct sunlight. The lower the rating, the less solar heat will pass through the window. Out of the two ratings, SHGC is arguably more important in subtropical areas such as San Antonio, TX, which is known for its hot, humid summers. Low SHGC ratings are obtainable through using low-E coated glass, glazing, and window tinting.
Homeowners in Texas who are already paying attention to modern home improvement trends and technology designed to improve the look and function of aspects of your home might already have heard about window tinting. Before now, you might have only seen window tinting performed on cars. However, you can tint your home windows too to create more energy efficient windows. Here, we’ll delve quickly into what residential window tinting is and why you could benefit.
What Is Residential Window Tinting?
You might also know residential window tint as solar window film. The process of tinting glass to create more energy efficient windows involves applying a thin layer of film that blocks out UV light. It’s actually a very similar product to what you see on cars and trucks with darkened windows in the rear. However, with technology advancements, there are now more tint options for windows available, ranging from the stereotypical dark tints to specific colors and even practically invisible tints.
Secondly, how will tinting improve your windows? There are multiple benefits associated with window tinting that can have a positive effect on your home. You can even increase your home’s worth. The top five benefits of tinting residential windows are:
- Further enhanced energy efficiency. When indoor temperatures are consistent, your AC doesn’t have to work as hard to regulate temperature. Using window tinting throughout your home will not only reduce the amount of energy your HVAC system expends to get to the temperature you desire, but it can also lead to potential cost savings.
- Improved climate control. Blocking out UV rays will help to keep temperatures more consistent throughout your home. This is because absorbed UV won’t be heating internal spaces. This enables you to have more precise control when you use your AC in summer or heating in winter, as you can count on your internal temperature to remain consistent.
- UV protection. If you’ve ever sat for a while in a stationary car on a hot day, you’ll understand just how warm it can get sitting behind glass. You can still get burned through the glass when exposed to harsh sunlight, so UV protection on your windows can protect you during times when rays are strongest. If you add window tints, you’re protecting both your eyes and your skin, as well as protecting wooden furniture from graying when overexposed to UV.
- Reduced glare. One of the most popular benefits of tinting energy efficient windows is the effect that it has on glare. Window tints both reflect heat AND glare. The TV you’re watching, PC monitor you’re looking at, or book you’re reading will be much easier to see, even when window blinds are fully opened.
- Safety improvements. One of the unexpected benefits that people who get their energy efficient windows tinted realize is that tinted glass can make glass safer. In the event that glass is broken, the solar window film can hold the shards together safely. This reduces the likelihood of severe injuries caused by shattered glass and also makes cleaning up easier.
Why Energy Efficient Windows are Essential
Up to 30% of heated or cooled air can escape through your home’s windows. The loss is caused by a drastic difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, and the greater the difference between temperatures, the quicker the rate of transfer. Texan summers are hot and humid, and Texan winters can be close to freezing. Such temperature variation can cause extreme fluctuations in energy consumption when trying to maintain a comfortable environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption year-round simply by installing energy efficient windows. They’re a cost-effective investment that, for years to come, will have a positive impact on your San Antonio home.
How to Improve Your Window’s Efficiency
Whether you’re looking to install replacement windows or improve your existing windows using a residential window tint, First Place Windows is here to help. For guidance on how to improve your existing window’s efficiency or which energy efficient windows could be your next purchase, contact the team at First Place Windows. First Place Windows installers have been replacing windows for over a decade and offer personalized replacement services to every San Antonio, TX client.