Your Complete Guide to Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient windows are really becoming a lot more popular these days, especially because everyone is interested in reducing their carbon footprint.  Single pane windows just do not really do the trick when it comes to keeping out drafts and other weather elements. Double and triple pane windows really are the way to go.  The Department of Energy has even released a statement saying that you can save up to $465 each year by getting windows that have an Energy Star rating.

A savings of up to $465 each year can really make a difference.  Energy efficient windows, however, can cost you anywhere between $250 and $800, including the installation.  With this in mind, is the savings going to make this a good investment for you? This really depends on how many windows you are having installed in your home  Let’s take a look and find out more about energy efficient windows.

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The Cost of Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient window prices will vary depending on the type of panes you choose.  Double pane windows will cost you anywhere between $450 and $650 for vinyl, and between $800 and $1050 for wooden windows.  This can actually be a bit higher for new construction windows When it comes to triple pane windows, you can expect to pay a little bit more.  Triple pane windows will cost anywhere between $550 and $850 for vinyl windows, and between $900 and $1250 for wooden replacement windows This, again, will be a little higher if you are needing new windows installed or constructed.  

What You Should Know About Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient window styles can help you to save money on your energy costs.  They are designed to help keep the cooler air in during the summer, and the warmer air in during the winter months.  This can help to increase your insulation, while decreasing your energy usage. This can help make your house more comfortable, and can also lower your bills.

Replacing Your Single Pane Windows

The truth is, deciding whether or not to replace your windows with energy efficient windows depends a lot on the type of windows you have.  If you have single pane windows, then you definitely want to make the investment in energy efficient windows. This is especially true if your single pane window frames have been warped.  Most homes are not usually going to have single paned windows. Most already have double paned windows. Older homes, however, may still have single paned windows. Replacing your windows with double or triple paned Energy Star rated windows are really a good idea.  It may help you to make your initial investment back over a few years.

Energy savings is not really the only factor to consider.  In fact, getting new energy efficient windows can also help to improve the value of your home. New vinyl windows with energy efficiency an help to add up to $12,000 to the value of your home.  This can be really great if you are planning to sell your home any time soon.

The Benefits of Choosing Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient windows can really offer a whole lot of great benefits.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons that people opt for this type of window over single paned windows.

First, energy efficient windows can help you to save money.  If you have windows with an Energy Star rating, then you can save around 12% on the cost of heating and cooling your home.  This savings may even be more, depending on the type of windows that you choose and the weather in your area. Replacing a single pane window with an Energy Star window can save you up to 31% on the cost of heating and cooling your home.

Energy efficient windows can also give you some added peace and quiet in your home.  The insulation that helps to keep your home insulated can also help to keep the sound out of your home.  This will give you more quiet in your home. If you live in a busy neighborhood, this can be a great idea.  It can help block out traffic sounds, trains, and other regular sources of noise.

Multi Pane Windows

Double and triple paned energy efficient windows have more than one pane of glass that are put together with spacers.  These layers create a pocket of air in between the glass, which helps to seal the windows and keep air from coming in or out.  They can also be filled with gasses that can help make them more energy efficient.

Multi pane windows do help to keep your home better insulated, but they also cost a good deal more.  Even though they do tend to be pricey, they can be more of an investment. The extra cost can help to improve property value as well.  

Is Low-E Coating a Good Idea?

Low-emissivity coatings can be a great addition to your windows.  They can help to keep heat in during the winter months, and the cool air in during the summer months.  They are designed to help keep the sun’s rays from coming into your home by reflecting the UV rays from the sun back away from your home.  They do this without prohibiting the light from coming in. The coating also does not obstruct your views, as it is invisible to the naked eye.  

In the north, the same coating can be used reversed.  This allows light into the home, and traps the heat inside the home.  This is good for areas that have extreme cold temperatures. It almost has a greenhouse effect, and can keep your house warmer even when it is frigid cold outside.  This is something to consider if you live in an area that stays pretty cold during the winter.

What You Need to Know About the VT Rating

The VT rating of your window determines how much light will be able to come through the windows.  It is also known as the visible transmittance rating. If you have a darker room, such as a home theatre room, then you may want a low VT rating.  If you want to enjoy added light from outdoors in areas like your kitchen, then you want higher VT ratings. This is something to look into when choosing your windows.  

Low-e coatings on your windows can also be tinted.  You can get glass treatments to help improve your energy efficiency, but sometimes they will affect your VT rating.  The added layers of glass in multi paned windows can also be a way to lower your VT rating. THese are all things to keep in mind.  If you want to use mainly natural light, then look for higher VT ratings to cut down how much you have to use electricity in your home.  

Spotting the Energy Star Logo

Energy Star used to not be as popular, but these days everyone is looking for a way to use less energy.  This is why you see the Energy Star logo on so many different products these days. One of the best ways to find out if you are looking at an energy efficient window is to look for this logo.  Windows that have the Energy Star logo meet or exceed the standards set forth by Energy Star.

Energy Star windows in northern areas help to bring in the infrared light and generate heat, while trapping this heat inside. These are usually double paned, or triple paned. They usually have a low U factor that helps to make them more insulating.

Energy Star windows in southern areas do the opposite.  They work to keep heat out of your home, thus allowing your home to stay cooler.  They also have a low U factor that ensures that they properly insulate. This makes them a great choice if you live in areas that are hot and humid.  


Does it Qualify for the Energy Star Tax Credit?

The Energy Star tax credit is designed to help people save money on their tax obligations if they use energy efficient windows and appliances.  Some areas also let you get other types of credits, such as mail in rebates, if you have energy efficient windows installed in your home. This is something to keep in mind.  Check your local area to learn more about the Energy Star credits that may be available to you.

Efficient Windows Paired with Efficient Frames

The best way to ensure energy efficiency is to get both efficient panes and efficient window frames.  If you are building a new construction home this is really the only way to go. You can simply replace one or the other, but you will nearly double your energy efficiency if you will get the glass and the frames in energy efficient styles.  The most efficient frames are usually made up of either wood, composite, fiberglass or vinyl. These frames have their pros and cons, so be sure to learn more about them before you decide which one is right for you.

The Hatch Difference

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