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The Best Energy Efficient Windows for Hot, Sunny Climates


on September 8, 2018


Windows might look the same as they have for hundreds of years, but their appearance masks the advancements in manufacturing. Today’s windows are more efficient than windows of old, and there are distinct design differences to shield you from the elements.

In the Southwest, where summer temperatures regularly hit triple digits, excessive heat and sun can warm your home beyond comfort. It puts more pressure on your air conditioning to keep a consistent temperature. Energy-efficient windows can help ease the burden on your A/C, potentially saving you money on cooling costs.

Types of Energy-Efficient Windows for the Southwest

There are many different kinds of energy-efficient window options. Energy efficiency is achieved through the frame, material, glass and number of panes. Even proper installation can make a big difference in the efficiency of your windows. But not every energy-efficient window is designed for extreme heat.

Low-E Insulating Glass

Pella’s SunDefense™ Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon provides thermal protection from the sun. The panes are covered with a unique coating that reduces solar heat gain while maximizing visible light.

Double-Pane and Triple-Pane Windows

Multiple pane windows are more efficient. Choosing double or triple panes with SunDefense™ Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon increases the efficiency over standard multi-pane windows. Two panes of glass with this coating block 94 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, while three panes of glass block 95 percent.

Tinted Insulating Glass

For windows that face long hours of direct sunlight, tinted insulating glass can be a good, energy-efficient option. This type of glass helps block the sun’s rays, controls its glare, and keeps a sunny room cooler.

How Much Energy-Efficient Windows Can Save

ENERGY STAR® certifies energy-efficient products that help save money and help protect the environment. Upgrading to ENERGY STAR-certified windows in hot, sunny climates can help reduce your annual energy costs. Different parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are categorized into different zones, so the average annual cost savings when replacing windows depends on where you live:

  • North-Central Zone – Average annual energy savings of $236 when replacing single-pane windows and $87 when replacing double-pane windows.1
  • South-Central Zone – Average yearly savings on energy costs of $319 when upgrading from single-pane windows and $108 when upgrading double-pane windows.1
  • Southern Zone – Energy savings of an average of $280 annually when replacing single-pane windows and $126 when replacing double-pane windows.1
Energy efficient replacement windows - Climate Zones

In addition to the energy savings you can recoup by installing new ENERGY STAR-certified windows, you may be eligible for tax credits on your window replacement project if it was completed in 2017. You can claim a tax credit of 10 percent on the cost of your ENERGY STAR-certified window replacement, up to $200. The credit initially expired in 2016, but was retroactively renewed by Congress in February 2018 for purchases through December 31, 2017.

In the hot southwestern climate, blocking the sun’s rays can help make your home cooler, more comfortable, and energy-efficient. And by choosing the energy-efficient window options recommended for your region, you can also take comfort in the money you save in the long run.


Schedule a free consultation to find windows and doors for your home.