Choosing energy efficient windows for your home comes with a plethora of benefits. Energy efficient windows help make your home more consistently comfortable, save on utility costs, and perform better. So, how do you choose energy efficient windows for your home, and what makes a window energy efficient, really?
What Makes a Window Energy Efficient?
Believe it or not, there are a few variables that impact a window’s energy efficiency. The construction of the window itself, number of glass panes, and insulating gas between the panes all have an effect. As you explore possible window choices for your home, one of the quickest ways to get critical energy efficiency information is to read the label.
How to Read a Window’s Energy Efficiency Label
With the emphasis on increased energy efficiency throughout the home, there are multiple rating systems that you may see. The gold standard of window efficiency comes from an ENERGY STAR® rating system and the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) rating system. Pella offers windows with both ratings. While an ENERGY STAR® certified product is easy to recognize thanks to the famed blue logo, NFRC window labels will state the U-factor, visible transmittance, solar heat gain coefficient, and air leakage ratings, giving a more granular view of efficiency-impacting factors.
Choose Low-E Glass for An Efficiency Boost
At Pella, we make selecting energy efficient home windows easy with coating choices like Low-E Glass. Low-E, or low-emissivity, glass features a virtually invisible coating that reflects energy away from the glass and keeps your home more comfortable without increasing the load on your home’s HVAC system.
Dual-Pane and Triple-Pane Windows Provide Extra Insulation
The more panes of glass within a window’s construction, the more layers between the elements, which will increase your home’s comfort level. When you choose double- and triple-pane windows, you have the option of including insulating argon gas between the panes, which boosts the window’s energy efficiency significantly.
Window Frame Material Impacts Efficiency, Too
When it comes to what makes windows energy efficient, it’s not just about the glass . The frame material you choose can make a difference as well. Wood frames have low conductivity, which offers exceptional insulation, and fiberglass frames perform similarly. Vinyl is a more cost-effective choice for many homeowners, but if you’re looking for a vinyl window frame that performs on par with other insulative frame materials, you want to opt for a multi-chamber vinyl frame. Additionally, optional foam inserts can be incorporated inside the vinyl frames at time of manufacture which can further improve energy efficiency of the window.
How to Choose an Energy Efficient Window Style
The style of window you choose will have far less of an impact on the overall efficiency than most of the other factors we’ve discussed. While some styles may offer a slight advantage over others, a window’s level of energy efficiency is determined by the construction and installation far more than the specific style. That’s why at Pella we encourage homeowners to choose the window style that best suits their lifestyle, design sensibilities, and house architecture. Windows that work with your home’s build and your stylistic preferences can also be built for greater energy efficiency in the manufacturing process.
How Window Installation Impacts Efficiency
Finally, we can’t discuss home window energy efficiency without addressing installation. Even the most expensive window with all the energy efficient features won’t perform as intended if it’s installed poorly.
Pella-certified installers pay close attention to the details to ensure that your windows are installed to exacting standards that provide superior performance and efficiency. Don’t be afraid to ask your installers to walk you through the process and provide details on how the installation will ensure maximum energy efficiency and long-term performance.
Get Energy Efficient Windows for Your Home With Pella
As a company, Pella understands the importance of sustainability, both in the manufacturing process, and in the windows we manufacture. We know that energy efficiency can have a major impact not only on your annual expenses as a homeowner, but on your home’s eco-friendliness, too. Whatever the reason driving you to explore more energy efficient window options, the experts at Pella are here to help. Request a consultation today to discuss how we can help improve your home’s energy efficiency.