Home renovation often includes the replacement of windows, either due to broken glass or worn-out frames. Either problem causes outside air to get inside the home, which makes your heating or cooling system work harder to keep your living space at the desired temperature. You might want to consider installing energy-efficient windows. Not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you'll reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Below is a brief explanation of the Energy Star Label program and lists of different types of glass and window frame styles.
Energy Star Program Explained
The Energy Star Label program is managed by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. The distinctive blue and white logo is found on products that are energy efficient yet still affordable. Any product from any manufacturer may qualify. The products must also be readily available throughout most of the United States.
If, for example, you change to an Energy Star Label window, your carbon footprint will be reduced by roughly 12 percent compared to your typical window. That figure is based on a nationwide average. The amount of money you save depends on where you live. In the northern parts of the country you could save an average of $366 dollars per year if replacing single pane windows. Even in the hot and humid south, your yearly savings could reach $280. The monetary figures are based on a 2015 study by D+R International.
The Energy Star Label may be lost if the product doesn't meet recently changed Federal Standards or if there are complaints about quality. To be fair to the manufacturers, the products are retested before the label is pulled. If the product's availability decreases, it may also loose the label.
Difference Between Single-, Double-, and Triple-Glazed Windows
- Single-glazed windows are made with one pane of glass. They transmit hot and cold air easily and are the least energy efficient.
- Double-glazed windows are made with two glass panes. A space in between, which is sometimes filled with argon or krypton gas, provides better insulation.
- Triple-glazed windows provide even more insulation because they have three glass panes and two air spaces. Both triple- and double-glazed windows help muffle outside sounds, making your living space quieter. Low-E, a special coating that blocks ultraviolet rays, is typically added to the double and triple glazed windows. This keeps the colors in your furniture and carpets fresher longer.
Types of Window Frame Styles
If you must replace the frames, consider that some frame styles are more efficient than others. Some of the choices are listed below.
An awning frame works just like some home awnings. It's hinged at the top and opens from the inside out. When the sash, the moveable part of the window, is closed, it fits tight against the frame and allows less air to leak into your home.
Often found in pairs, casement window frames are hinged on one side and open out. Like the awning windows, these also reduce the amount of air leakage because of the tight sash fit when closed. In the pair style, you may or may not find a center strip between the two windows. A popular scenario for large rooms is a pair of casement windows on either side of a window that doesn't open, known as a fixed panel.
These work like awning frames but open inward. The hinges are at the top. The sash and frame have a tight fit, so the hoppers are energy efficient. These are sometimes used in bathrooms or basements, rooms that sometimes have smaller spaces. Hoppers are also used as transoms, windows that are installed above doors or other windows. Transoms that open usually have a hook on the top of the window frame. A pole with a complementing hook is used to open and shut the transom.
Single- and Double-Hung Frames and Sliders
Single- and double-hung windows have two horizontal panes of glass. In a single-hung frame, the bottom window slides upwards, while the top is a fixed panel. In the double-hung variety, both windows open vertically. Single- and double-hung slider windows, where the sashes slide horizontally, are also available. Both the vertical and horizontal styles allow more air into the home than the hinged window varieties.
Contact a company like Solar Shield Windows for more information.