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Energy Star Windows

Energy Star is a part of the EPA, or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy.  They work together to not only help people save money, but to also help protect our environment. They have a lot of practices and products that they put their seal of approval on.  The Energy Star program has helped people to save billions of dollars on their utility bills. You may have noticed the Energy Star logo on many of the appliances that you use within your home.  

Energy Star also has a lot of great energy efficient options for your home.  Adding Energy Star windows to your home can be a great way to boost the overall energy efficiency of your home.  If you are looking for energy efficient windows, look for an Energy Star seal. If you make big improvements to your house,  look into the tools and other resources that are available from the EPA. This will help you to improve the level of comfort in your home, while also reducing the cost of your energy bills.

You can get energy efficiency windows, doors, skylights, and much more.  Energy efficient windows will vary from one location to the next. It really depends on the climate for the area.  This is why the EPA has four different climate zones that they use when rating products as energy efficient. To get more information about the products by Energy Star, you can visit www.nfrc.org.  There, you will get information about selecting the best windows possible.

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Understanding the Importance of Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

These days, everyone is talking about ways to reduce their carbon footprint.  Are you familiar with what your carbon footprint actually means? Your carbon footprint is the measurement of how much carbon dioxide is emitted due to your own activities.  This includes everything from driving or flying, to buying and using certain products or appliances. To get an idea of your own personal carbon footprint, visit https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/.  

The energy used in your home actually counts for about a quarter of your total personal carbon footprint.  This can be lowered drastically by making updates in your home. For instance, replacing old appliances with Energy Star approved appliances can help lower that footprint.  You can also lower it by getting Energy Star windows and doors. There are a lot of different ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Changes in the Energy Star Qualifications

The U.S. Department of Energy did some updates to the requirements for Energy Star windows and doors.  You can find more information about these changes by visiting http://www.oknawindows.com/core/fileparse.php/106790/urlt/WindowsDoorsSkylightsProgRequirements7Apr09.pdf.  

Understanding the Climate Zones

Since the United States has a variety of different climates across the nation, it is important to understand that energy efficiency cannot be a one size fits all type thing.  They have it separated into four different climate zones, as of now. This is subject to change, as they make updates to the Energy Star requirements as necessary.

Currently, the climate zones include the northern zone, which covers most of the northern United States, the north central zone, which covers a strip of area in the central United States, the south central zone, which covers the lower section, but not the coastal areas, and the southern zone, which covers the coastal areas of the United States.  These regions each have their own specifications for energy efficiency, based on the climate.

The specifications for each area will vary.  Their main focus is the U factor and the SHGC.  The U factor has a stricter guideline than it used to, ranging from less than 0.30 level to the 0.60 level.  The 0.30 level is recommended for northern zones, with southern areas able to have up to 0.60. Northern areas, however, do not have a maximum SHGC level.  The southern areas however, must be under 0.27 in order to be eligible for the Energy Star approval seal.

 

The Benefits of Choosing Energy Star Rated Windows

Choosing windows that have the Energy Star approval can really be very beneficial to you.  First, it can help you to save more money. These windows can help to make your home more energy efficient.  This helps you to use far less energy, and also helps to cut down on greenhouse emissions in our environment.  This means it is not only great for your pocketbook, but it is also great for the environment. Everyone is looking for a way to reduce their carbon footprint, and this is a great step to take if you are looking into making home remodels.

Energy Star windows can also be a great way for you to be more comfortable in your home.  Overheating and breezy drafts can really be a problem over time, and can make your home pretty uncomfortable.  If you have Energy Star windows, you can actually keep your home pretty comfortable even when you are sitting right by the window.  This is something to consider, especially if you have a hard time keeping your home a comfortable temperature.

During the winter months, it is likely that cool drafts come in through single pane windows, and even some double pane windows.  This may make you want to avoid sitting in your favorite chair that happens to be next to the window. Energy Star windows help to keep the inside of the glass warmer, which means that the inside of your home stays warmer.  

During the summer, these windows work in a very similar way.  Does your house ever just feel like it absorbs the heat during the hot summer months?  Standard windows can really let in a lot of heat. Energy Star windows help to cut down on your heat gain, keeping that uncomfortable heat away so that your house can be comfortable and cool during the summer months.  

Another good benefit that comes with getting Energy Star rated windows is that they can help to protect your belongings and valuables.  Low E coatings that are found on just about all Energy Star windows can really help to protect your carpets, flooring, furniture and other belongings.  This is because it helps to keep out the damaging UV rays. Sun damage happens to just about everything over time, but with a low E coating you can minimize the risk of damage.

Finally, consider Energy Star approved versus energy efficient.  Any window can claim to offer energy efficiency, but to get the seal of approval from Energy Star really takes something special.  If you really want to ensure that your windows are going to offer optimal efficiency, it is a really good idea for you to get an Energy Star approved window. These windows are guaranteed to perform as they are supposed to.

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Should I Replace All of My Windows at Once?

If you have made the decision to replace the windows in your home with Energy Star rated windows, you should take careful consideration when doing so.  The truth is, they can be pretty pricey. To really get the benefits of these windows, it is a good idea for you to replace them all at once. If you replace one window at a time, you will not really reap the benefits.  The key is to get the maximum insulation by replacing every window in the home to ensure an airtight seal on every window.

While it may seem more beneficial to replace a single window, to keep yourself on budget, and then move on to the other windows later, it may actually not ever allow you the right energy efficiency unless you take it on as a project for your entire home. This can really hinder your ability to make back your investment down the road.  Some windows can take a while for you to get the cost of the windows recouped in energy savings, so replacing them all at once can get you started towards a return on your investment.

 

Getting Proper Installation for Your New Energy Star Windows

If you have decided to get Energy Star windows you will want to have them properly installed.  This is not something that you want to take on as a DIY project. It is a good idea for you to find a professional contractor in your area to do the job.  They can help you to choose the right windows for your climate zone, while also giving you the best installation possible. Talk to a contractor about your options, and ask them any questions you may have regarding your windows.  

They will be able to offer you a complete estimate, including the cost for the labor.  From taking the first look at your home to ensuring the last window is properly sealed, your contractor will be able to take care of the entire job.  This is the only way to ensure that your windows are, in fact, offering the energy efficiency that they are supposed to offer.

The Hatch Difference

Each window that Hatch Homes provides our customers is installed by certified and trained craftsmen. Let us show you the difference that new high-performance windows can make on your home!