Your Guide To Thermal Windows

Thermal Windows

Thermal windows are not your average window.  They are actually designed with a lot of features that help them to be energy efficient.  Thermal windows usually have multiple panes, some with double panes and some with triple panes.  These offer a whole lot more energy efficiency than a regular single pane window. Combining multiple panes with gas in between the window panes can really help to keep heat in or out as needed.  

Thermal windows are designed to have a lower U factor.  The U factor of your windows is actually the representation of how quickly heat is lost from your home.  The more the U factor is, the lower efficiency the window is. Thermal windows have the lowest possible U ratings, making them great when it comes to insulation.  Depending on what season it is, this can help keep the heat in your home, or out of it.

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The Advantages of Choosing Thermal Windows

Thermal windows not only help to keep your home more comfortable, but they also have their other benefits.  First, they are great when it comes to insulating your home. They help to preserve your heat, and also keep the heat out during the summer months by reflecting the heat from the sun away from your home.  They are energy efficient as well, meaning that you can help shave some off of your heating and cooling expenses. Regulating the temperature in your home is a lot easier with thermal windows.

These windows are also great when it comes to keeping out added noise.  Since these windows have multiple layers of glass, with either double or triple panes, they help to keep out noise and provide more of a barrier.  This can keep your home more quiet, and if you live on a busy street then this quiet can be invaluable.


Are Thermal Windows a Good Investment?

Thermal windows can really be a great investment.  People often wonder if they will save enough energy over time to pay for their initial investment and even provide a return on the investment.  The truth is, yes, these windows can really be very efficient. The bills will usually drop an average of around 20 percent or higher. If you had really drafty windows, they will probably pay for themselves sooner.  Most people find that their windows do not pay for themselves for at least 10 years or so, but this really just depends on the windows that you choose and how pricey they are.

Thermal window replacement is usually a pretty large project to take on.  If you replace all of the windows in your home, which is recommended, then you will usually spend in the thousands of dollars.  While it can be pretty expensive, it is generally something that does not take too long. It can usually get done in just a few days, and the project in and of itself does not really make any sort of disruption when it comes to your home and your routines.  

Should I Add a Gas Filler?

Adding a gas filler in between the panes of your windows is a really good idea.  Certain gases can really be great at adding to the insulating properties of your windows.  For instance, if you choose a gas like argon or krypton, then they can lower the U factor even further.  Check into the u factor of the windows before the gas has been added, and then see what it will be with the gas fillers.  Chances are it will jump over a tenth of a point. This can really make a difference in the efficiency of your windows.


Is a Thermal Coating Necessary?

When looking for new windows, many homeowners want to know whether or not it is a good idea to add a thermal coating to their windows.  Thermal windows can be covered with a thermal coating, called the low e coating. This means low emissivity. This coating can help to keep the heat in your home, or reflect it away from your home.  Regular glass, with no coating, only reflects around 16% of the heat energy from your home. If it has been treated with a low E coating, it can reflect a whopping 96% of the heat energy.

The way that glass is treated with the thermal coating will depend a lot on the area in which you live.  If you live in an area that gets really hot, then they will usually coat it to keep the heat reflected away from the window.  In areas that get really cold, they are treated to help the heat to penetrate the window and stay trapped inside rather than being able to absorb outside.  

Finding the Highest Quality Thermal Windows

Finding the right thermal windows is not always the easiest task.  There are two different window ratings that you need to keep in mind.  First, you need to take a look at the U value. This lets you know how well heat is able to penetrate the window.  If the U value is on the higher side, then heat can move more freely. If it is lower, then heat can be kept inside or outside of the home. The lower the U value, the more efficient the window will be.

The next thing that you will want to look for is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.  This is also called the SHGC. This helps to measure the heat the is able to come into your home.  If this value is high, then the heat can come into your home and keep your home warm. The lower the value, the more the heat will be kept out of your home.  Your local region will determine whether or not you need a lower or high SHGC level.

No matter what area you live in, a low U rating is important.  When it comes to the SHGC rating, a higher SHGC rating is better when you live in a colder area.  For areas that are warmer, a lower SHGC rating is necessary for the windows to be efficient. This is why different areas have different specifications for what is considered energy efficient.  In fact, Energy Star has four different regions that they consider. This helps to ensure energy efficiency no matter where you live.


Are Tinted Windows a Good Idea?

Tinted windows may seem like a great way to keep the heat out of your home, but you really have to be careful when it comes to that.  Sometimes, windows have a layer of tint added to them to make them even more efficient. This can obstruct your views and can also really cut back on the amount of natural sunlight that is able to come into your home.  This can be measured by looking at the VT rating. The VT rating is the visible transmittance measurement. This measures how much sunlight is able to get into your home. If a window has a low VT rating, then chances are light will be limited.  This is used most often in rooms that need to be darker, such as home theater rooms.

When you shop around for new thermal windows, it is also a good idea for you to look for the Energy Star logo.  Energy Star rates windows based on their energy efficiency. Most of the windows that they put their seal of approval on are considered thermal windows.  While they may be more expensive, they do make a very good long term investment. Most people will eventually recoup the money spent on the thermal windows over time in energy savings.  It also helps to reduce your carbon footprint.

Having Your Thermal Windows Professionally Installed

Installing windows is really no easy endeavor, even for the most experienced handyman.  If you are looking for your windows to be installed correctly, then it may be a good idea to have them professionally installed.  This is recommended for a variety of reasons. First, some of the best thermal windows are only available when purchased through a reputable and trusted contractor.  It is also important to consider that the job will be done right the first time around if you go with someone that has an experienced track record.

Your contractor should come out and take a look at the home so that you can determine how many windows need to be replaced, and what sizes are necessary.  They will also be able to help you to determine which thermal windows will be right for you. They can help you pick out your windows, from everything from the window frames to the panes, and choose any additional features such as low e coatings.  When they come out, they can give an estimate for the entire project.

It is a good idea to replace all of your windows at once if you are looking for the most in energy efficiency.  After all, you cannot take the most advantage of the efficiency until you have the efficiency throughout your home.  

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