Replacing your windows improves your home's efficiency, right? Well, yes — to some degree. If your current windows are leaky, then replacing them with new, non-leaky windows will definitely reduce the amount of energy you're losing. However, if you really want to maximize your efficiency, then you can't just use any old replacement windows. You need to pick ones with the following qualities and features.
Double- or Triple-Pane Glass
Almost all windows sold these days come with either double- or triple-pane glass, but there are a few hold-out brands that still offer single-pane windows, so it is worth double-checking before you buy. Double-pane windows have two panes of glass. Triple-pane windows have three panes of glass. In both cases, though, it's not actually the extra glass that makes the replacement windows energy-efficient. It's the air between the panes of glass. It acts as an insulator, slowing the flow of heat through the glass.
Sometimes people see the term "low-e glass" and look right past it because they don't understand it or assume it's a marketing term. But it's not just a marketing term; it's a key feature that you really want to have in your efficient windows. Also, it's easier to understand than you might think. Low-e windows are simply coated in a reflective film that encourages heat to bounce off the glass. They reflect heat back into your home in the winter and back out of your home in the summer. The "e" in "low-e" just stands for emissivity — which is a measure of how much heat passes through the windows. Low-e glass costs a little more but will save you a small fortune in heating and cooling costs.
You care about how efficient the windows are now, but you also need to think about how efficient they will be 5 years from now and 10 years from now. The key way that windows lose efficiency is through broken seals. The seals begin allowing air to seep through, which wastes your heated or cooled air. So, look for windows with reinforced seals. This only slightly increases the efficiency rating of the window, but it does make sure that the efficiency rating really lasts.
When picking new windows, look for ones with double- or triple-pane glass, low-e glass, and reinforced seals. Your window replacement company should be able to recommend a few options.
To learn more, contact a window replacement service today.