Energy-efficient windows can be a major source of savings and improved comfort for your home. If you’re going to make this investment, you want to get the most energy-efficient windows you can to maximize your return. Which windows are right for your property? Use the following guide to select the best energy-efficient windows for your needs, budget and setting.
Windows have come a long way in recent decades, and homeowners now have multiple options for frame construction. Each material has its pros and cons. Keep the following in mind as you purchase energy-efficient windows:
Wood: This material typically offers the best insulation. However, wood also requires the most maintenance. These frames may rot if exposed to a lot of moisture, and they eventually need to be repainted or re-stained to maintain an attractive appearance.
Vinyl: More economical than wood, vinyl can provide a budget-friendly option for homeowners who are looking for energy-efficient windows. They offer tight construction to minimize air leakage and increase efficiency. However, vinyl windows may be limited in color options, and some people do not like the way vinyl looks on the home.
Aluminum: Frames made of aluminum are not known for their energy efficiency. Of all the frame types, these are definitely not the most energy-efficient windows. They allow greater heat transfer and loss than other materials. However, they are known for their strength, so they can be a great choice for areas that experience severe storms.
Wood-clad: This type of frame features an aluminum or vinyl exterior for low maintenance, and a wood interior to improve insulation and provide energy efficiency. If you choose these energy-efficient windows, be sure to include protection against water intrusion when you install them. Use waterproof rubber membranes and sill pans to provide healthy drainage and protection.
Casement windows: These windows feature a crank that is used to swing the window outward to open it. These can help conserve energy in windy climates, since any wind blowing toward the house pushes the window more tightly closed. To sustain their efficiency, the hinges and seals on these windows must be properly maintained.
Double-hung windows: These are the most common windows, featuring a bottom pane that slides up to open the window. Due to the potential for airflow between the sliders, these windows may not be the most energy-efficient windows for extreme climates.
Picture windows: These windows do not open. They are available in many sizes and shapes. They can be efficient, depending on the choice of glass and if the pane is gas-filled.
The most energy-efficient windows feature more than one pane of glass. However, you may not need the most expensive option out there. Low-E, double-paned, argon-filled windows provide excellent insulation. Adding a third pane of glass or denser materials may not deliver enough additional insulation to make it worth the additional cost. However, double-paned, low-E, argon-filled windows definitely provide more insulation than single-paned windows.
Some window styles are more energy-efficient than others. As you look for the most energy-efficient windows, you must weigh the importance of this quality with the aesthetics you hope to achieve with your windows:
Coyote Hollow Construction is here to help you choose the best options for your home renovations. We can help you find the most energy-efficient windows that suit your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to get started on your next project!
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