Have you ever wondered why your electricity bills are so high despite your attempts to cut down on energy usage? Look no further than your windows. Windows are known for letting in natural light and fresh air, but they are also notorious for allowing indoor heat to escape during winter and letting outdoor heat seep in during summer.
This means your HVAC system has to work extra hard to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the year, resulting in higher power consumption and bills. The good news is that energy-efficient windows can help you break this cycle. Let’s delve into the science behind energy-efficient window design to help you make an informed decision on whether you should invest in them.
Sealing and Framing Matters
While glass technology plays a crucial role in energy-efficient window design, the material choices for frames and sealing are just as important. Frames made from insulating materials like vinyl are known to reduce heat transfer while minimizing the chances of air leakage.
Additionally, sealing is vital to guarantee the windows are airtight and moisture-proof. Well-fitted weather stripping ensures there are no gaps around your windows that would allow breezes or drafts to enter or escape. A quality and trustworthy installer can tailor your windows to make sure the seal is airtight and there are no gaps around the edges.
Low-e coatings are incredibly thin, transparent coatings on the surface of window glass. These coatings reflect heat while still allowing visible light to pass through. There are two types of low-e coatings: hard-coat and soft-coat.
Hard-coat low-e coatings are applied directly to the glass during the manufacturing process, while soft-coat coatings are applied after the glass has been manufactured. Both coatings reflect heat away from your home. Soft-coats are better at reflecting heat energy, although they are much more delicate than hard-coats.
Visible Transmittance (VT)
Visible transmittance (VT) refers to the amount of visible light that a window allows to enter your home. This can be a good characteristic to look out for if you want more natural light but not too much, especially if you own an east- or west-facing window.
A high VT score can also help reduce lighting costs. However, like any other feature, there is a drawback to a high VT, which is that it can increase the heat gain in summer excessively. A moderate VT score can give you ample daylight while still insulating your home against extreme temperatures.
U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
The U-factor is a measure of how well a window can insulate your home. The lower the U-factor, the better the insulation. Energy-efficient windows contain low U-factor materials such as double-glazed or triple-glazed glass, argon or krypton gas fills, and low-emissivity coatings. These components help trap heat inside during winter and prevent heat intrusion during summer while still allowing natural light inside.
Another factor to consider is solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which measures how much solar radiation enters your home through the window. In summer, windows with high SHGC can let in too much heat, overworking your air conditioning system, while in winter, they can let out too much heat, leaving your home chilly. To combat this, energy-efficient windows have a low SHGC, which means they block out excessive solar heat and retain warmth in your home.
Now that you know a little bit more about the science behind energy-efficient window design, let The Window Source of The Rockies help you lower your energy bills. We can install high-quality, energy-efficient replacement windows tailored to fit your home. Not only will you save money, but you’ll make your home look great.