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What You Need to Know About Energy Efficient Windows

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As a homeowner in Illinois or Indiana, you’re probably constantly on the search for ways that you can improve your energy efficiency, be greener and more environmentally friendly, and of course, save money. Which is why if you have not already thought about new window installation and energy efficient windows, it’s something you should certainly consider. Here’s a look into what you need to know about energy efficient windows, and why improving your windows’ energy efficiency may be the next step for upgrading your home–

The Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

As explained by the United States Department of Energy, it can be cost-effective to replace old and outdated windows with new windows when other energy-saving measures related to your windows have failed, or when your home has very old and inefficient windows. In fact, the Department states that not only will these windows “eventually pay for themselves” by significantly reducing the amount of energy that is used to heat and cool a home–and thereby reducing your home’s energy bill–but that these windows are often beneficial for reducing lighting costs too.

Energy Performance Ratings

Before you decide to buy new windows that are energy efficient, you should understand different window designs available for residential windows, and energy performance ratings. These ratings–and in order for windows to receive the Energy Star certification–are based on:

  • U-factor, which is the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. When the U-factor number is lower, the window is more energy efficient.
  • Air leakage, which is exactly what it sounds like – the amount of air that “leaks,” or moves around, a window when there are areas of different amounts of pressure. Obviously, a window with a low air leakage rating is more energy efficient.
  • Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which is essentially a measure of the amount of heat from the sun your windows are able to collect and transmit throughout the home. Depending upon the direction your home is facing, you may want windows with a higher SHGC to help you collect heat during the winter, or a lower SHGC to help your home stay cool during the summer.
  • Sunlight transmittance, while not a measure of heat gain and loss, is another important factor to weigh when considering new windows for energy efficiency. There are two ways to measure sunlight transmittance: visible transmittance (VT) and light-to-solar gain (LSG). The first, VT, is a measure of the amount of light that is transmitted through a window, and is important to consider when thinking about your home’s light requirements. LSG is a measure of the amount of light that can enter a home without adding excessive amounts of heat.

Call Us for New Residential Windows Today that Are Energy Efficient

If you live in Indiana or Illinois and have been thinking about new window installation, energy efficient windows are something you should certainly consider. For all of your window installation needs, call Preferred Window and Door. We have been specializing in residential windows for more than two decades, and can answer all questions that you have. Reach us today at 708-895-3667, or send us a message using our contact form online.

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