One way that you can make your home more energy efficient is by installing good quality windows. All windows are not created equally, which is why the EPA has an Energy Star rating for windows that meet the minimum standards in energy efficiency. Instead of relying on this rating, you may be wondering what makes a window energy efficient. Knowing can help you tell the difference between a high-end and low-end window.
An energy efficient window will need to have a great frame. Wood, composite materials, aluminum, and vinyl are quality materials that are durable and strong, and can withstand all kinds of weather conditions.
Each material has its own pros and cons that may make it a better choice for your home. For example, you can fill a fiberglass frame with additional insulation. A composite material frame will be better in areas with big temperature fluctuations over the year. Wood has a lot of maintenance involved, while vinyl is very low maintenance.
A window installation company can work with you on picking a proper window frame material for your home.
A window will be more energy efficient with more panes of glass. This is because there is non-conductive argon gas between the panes, which creates an additional barrier that helps insulate your home. The gas is odorless, colorless, and non-toxic, which is why it does not affect how clear your windows are. An Energy Star window will have no less than two panes of glass, though it is possible to get a window that has 3 or 4 layers of glass for added protection
The glass itself also makes a big difference. Low E glass prevents heat and UV rays from entering the home due to a unique coating that is applied to the surface. The coating actually reflects the infrared light.
Energy Star Qualifications
Having only the previous attributes is not enough to give a window an Energy Star rating. Windows will need to meet manufacturing criteria as well to get that much desired rating. All Energy Star windows need to be made by a certified Energy Star partner, and independently tested by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council). The United States Department of Energy sets the requirements that the NFRC tests for.
Now that you know how a window is defined as being energy efficient, you can tell the difference between windows when buying them for your home. For more information, visit a glass store like Valley Glass Inc.