Energy-Efficient Window Upgrades
Looking to install new windows or replace existing windows? You're in luck! This is the perfect time to upgrade to energy-efficient windows.
Ready to reduce those monthly utility bills with energy-efficient windows? With their ability to lower heating and cooling costs and even block out street noise, energy-efficient windows have become a staple upgrade in homeownership. But be careful; the wrong windows have the power to negatively affect the energy efficiency of your home. It's important to do your research and choose energy-efficient windows wisely.
Installing Energy-Efficient Windows
Windows are a key player in how your entire home looks, feels, and functions. So, it should come as no surprise that windows play a significant role in your home's energy efficiency too. If you are looking to increase energy efficiency, installing new windows is a great place to start. Energy-efficient windows are a high-quality window choice that have the added benefit of energy savings over time. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed with the options, don't worry; most contractors can help you choose and install the best energy-efficient windows for your home.
Energy-efficient windows aren't just for new-home builds and remodels. They are a perfect choice when window replacement time rolls around. Do you have an older home or windows that haven't been replaced for a while? Since older windows tend to be the least energy-efficient, homeowners who invest in energy-efficient replacement windows stand to see the largest benefits in efficiency.
How Much Do Energy-Efficient Windows Cost?
When it comes to energy-efficient windows, don't let the initial purchase price scare you off. Remember that high-quality, energy-efficient windows are an investment — one that will pay for itself over time! Energy-efficient windows are known for lowering heating and cooling bills, so while energy-efficient windows cost more than other windows up front, keep their long-term cost-saving potential in mind.
The cost of energy-efficient windows will depend on the window type and size, along with the number of windows to be installed. A local window contractor can help you figure out exactly how much to budget for this project.
Choosing the Best Windows
Long gone are the days of having limited energy-efficient choices. Now, many window manufacturers and brands offer energy-efficient and ENERGY STAR® products. With so many readily available options, the challenge has shifted from trying to locate an energy-efficient window to deciding which window is best among the plethora of choices!
When searching for your perfect window, you'll want to think about: brand, material, if it's ENERGY STAR® approved, and the U-factor, or the rate of heat loss. A lower U-factor indicates the window's heat flow resistance, and therefore better insulating qualities. When it comes to window type, wood windows tend to offer the most insulation, followed by vinyl. Aluminum windows, on the other hand, typically are not the most energy-efficient window option.
Swap Single Pane for Double Pane
Consider double-pane windows in your hunt for the best energy-efficient window. The double-pane feature is perfect for insulation. Better insulated windows can keep your HVAC units from working overtime and driving up utility bills. Not only are double-pane windows a great option for efficiency and reducing utility bills, but they can also reduce noise pollution. If you live in a busy, noisy, or urban area, double-pane windows are a great choice to block out unwanted sounds.
Add Storm Windows
For homeowners looking to stick to a tight budget, storm windows are the perfect energy-efficient choice. While they are not as strong of an option for insulation, storm windows do a great job reducing air movement, which is a benefit for your HVAC system. Storm windows can also be installed on the interior or the exterior of your home. A nearby contractor can help determine your best installation location.
While you're at it, you may also want to consider adding storm doors. Since exterior-facing doors are another prime suspect for drafts, they can also benefit from energy-efficient options like storm doors.
Window Tinting: On-Trend and Energy-Efficient
Residential window tinting is on-trend for many reasons, including the fact that it's a great option to improve energy efficiency. The right window film can provide benefits including: added privacy, reduced sun and UV-ray damage, reduced glare effects, and increased energy efficiency. When selecting a window tinting film for energy efficiency, make sure it will help keep heat out in the summer and seal heat in during the winter.
What If I Don't Need New Windows?
If you don't need new windows or if the budget doesn't allow for new windows at this time, you're not out of luck. In fact, there are plenty of quick fixes to improve your current windows' energy efficiency. In addition to window tinting, you can add weather stripping, re-fill window caulking, and seal any gaps that exist. But remember, these are temporary solutions and they will not have the same long-term benefits of installing energy-efficient windows.
Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Don't forget about the doors! If you've hired a handyman to add weather stripping or caulking to your windows, ask them to take a peek at your exterior-facing doors as well to see if they could also benefit from some caulking and sealing.
Keep the Benefits Coming with Warranties, Rebates, and Tax Credits
Did you know that energy-efficient windows could come with a warranty and be eligible for rebates and tax credits? While many windows come with warranties, rebates and tax credits are often applicable due to the window's energy-efficiency, which can save you even more money! Before purchasing windows, be sure to compare the warranties, rebates, and tax credits for your top choices.
Add a Finishing Touch With Window Treatments
Window treatments add a decorative touch, yes, but they can also help reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. However, most window treatments will not help with problem areas like air leakage. Remember, the right window treatment should work in unison with the design, function, and energy-efficiency of your windows.