How Do Energy-Efficient Windows Work?

May 9, 2014

If you have been shopping for replacement windows for your home or business, you have undoubtedly heard the phrase “energy-efficient windows.” The name makes it obvious that these windows are designed to save energy—and money—but just how do they work? Do they work or is it all marketing hype? Read on to find out.

There are several ways windows today are made to be energy-efficient, and when the various energy efficient components are all combined together, they create an exceptionally energy-efficient window that can substantially decrease your heating and cooling costs.

Some of the most common energy-efficient components found in windows today are:

Low-E Glass

If you have ever held a hot or cold drink in a glass container, you know how poor of an insulating material glass can be. Glass absorbs and transfers heat very easily, which can be a costly problem for any home with a significant number of windows. Low-E glass is designed to help block out the sun’s heat and harmful UV rays. In fact, some low-E glass can block up to 99.9 percent of the sun’s UV-A and UV-B radiation—reducing the fading of interior furnishings and the amount of heat absorbed by your windows.

There are many low-E glass options, including tints, reflective coatings, and multiple glass pane options. Options can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Consult with a window professional to learn more about the best low-E options on the market today.

Double and Triple Paned Options

In the past, windows were only a single pane of glass that separated the interior of your home from the exterior. As we previously mentioned, glass is an excellent conductor of heat, so single paned windows were excellent transmitters of heat into and out of your home.

Today, energy-efficient windows are available with two and three glass pane options with insulating gas-filled airspace to lessen the amount of heat transfer through the window.

Energy-Efficient Window Spacers

Rather than simply using metal framing as a window insulator, today’s windows utilize a thermally-efficient spacer made of low-conductive materials that insulate against cold airflow and condensation. When combined with insulating dual or triple paned windows and low-E coatings, you get exceptionally energy-efficient replacement windows.

Energy-Efficient Materials

Although all varieties of windows can have energy-efficient components and options, some of our windows offer higher energy efficiency than the others. Fiberglass replacement windows, for example, offer superior energy efficiency to all other varieties of windows. Fiberglass is a low-conducting material that has very little expansion or contraction in hot or cold temperatures. This reduces the amount of airflow around the frame of the window—saving you money.

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