Upgrading to double-pane or energy-efficient windows can yield considerable cost savings, especially in areas like Lehigh Valley and Bucks County, where the winters can get quite cold.
The U.S. Department of Energy says you could save between $126 and $465 per year in energy costs by replacing older, single-pane windows, or broken leaky windows and another $27 to $111 a year with you replace them with Energy Star, energy-efficient windows.
An Energy Star energy-efficient window is specifically designed to keep cold air out and keep your warm air, generated by your heater, in your home during the winter. That way, you can set your thermostat lower, burn less fuel for heat, and still stay comfortable. No more wearing jackets in your home.
And it’s not just about cost savings.
When you replace windows with the correct energy-saving models for your home, you can also leave your curtains or blinds open during the day to harvest sunlight for added warmth and comfort in your home all winter, without any fear of sunlight discoloring your carpet, furniture, or drapes. On winter’s shorter days — and with people stuck at home due to the pandemic — having energy-saving windows that allow you to let in the light without cooling down your house can work wonders to improve your mood and make your home a cozier, brighter space.
But with so many choices, what should you look for in an energy-efficient window? Consider the following factors when you’re shopping around for replacement windows in Lehigh Valley, Bucks County, or Montgomery County area.
1. Look for the Energy Star Seal
All replacement windows from reputable manufacturers today should always have an Energy Star seal. This indicates that the windows have been independently tested and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and have NFRC ratings that meet energy-efficiency standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Information such as the U factor is very important in deciding the amount of energy efficiency the new window will have. In looking at a U factor, the lower the number, the more energy-saving that occurs.
When you replace windows with newer, Energy Star models, you will experience energy-saving improvements over older windows, especially if your existing windows are single-pane glass.
The U-factor tells you just how energy efficient the new window will be; the lower the number the more energy-saving occurs.
Energy Star-qualified windows share a few characteristics, including:
- Double- or triple-pane glass with inert gases between the layers to further insulate outside cold from inside heat or outside heat from inside cold, depending on the season
- Window frame materials that contribute to better insulation and greater strength
- Spacers to prevent condensation build-up between the panes
- Special coating or multiple coatings of “low-E” on the glass to prevent the transmission of UV light and reflect heat energy into the house during the winter and away from the home in the summer
To choose the best windows for your home, you’ll want to pick the right Energy Star Rating.
Let the experts at Tom Adams help decide which Energy Star specification will fit the needs of your home and budget.
2. Choose Replacement Windows with a Low U-Factor
The NFRC independently evaluates all Energy Star qualified windows. Just because a window is “energy efficient” doesn’t mean it will meet your needs for energy savings in your home during the long, cold winters, or hot summers.
One of the most important numbers to consider when you’re buying replacement windows is the U-Factor, or U-value, which measures the rate of a window’s resistance to heat flow. In the Northern U.S. region, including Lehigh Valley and Bucks County, the U.S. DOE recommends choosing windows with a U-Factor of 0.28 or less.
You may also look at the window’s solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which represents the amount of solar radiation that passes through the window. Windows are rated from 0 to 1 with the lower numbers representing a better window glass product at blocking unwanted heat gain. Blocking solar gain is especially important during the summer season you’re running your air conditioner to cool your home.
3. Buying the Right Window Is Only Half of the Issue
Choosing the right Energy Star rated windows is important to help reduce your home’s heating bills in the winter. But the right replacement windows only represent 50% of the equation. Choosing the right company for your window installation makes up the other 50% of how effective your new windows will be to save energy and stop air drafts and water from entering your home. If replacement windows are not installed correctly, with correct sizing and proper installation and capping along with insulation between the frame and the studs of your home, you’ll lose many of the benefits the product offers.
A poor installation can reduce the window’s rated total U-Factor, letting air seep in between the window and the frame or between the frame and your home. A poorly installed window and/or capping can also leak water when it rains or snows, leading to all sorts of costly problems in your home. Look for a window installation company that will work with you to choose the best windows for your house, and then install them properly so you can enjoy all the benefits of Energy Star qualified windows.
Tom Adams Windows and Carpets have been experts in window installation for more than 65 years, and have won national awards for our service and installation. They’ve been named Dealer of the Year by Window & Door Magazine and have received many Super Service Awards from Angie’s List. Their credentials go on, including the highest top ratings from the Better Business Bureau.
A family-owned business, Tom Adams Windows and Carpets continues its legacy of providing high-quality products and Award-winning Installation and exemplary service since 1955.
Are you ready to kick off 2021 with the newest in energy-efficient windows to help keep your Lehigh Valley, Bucks County, or Montgomery County home warm all winter? Let Tom Adams Windows and Carpet help you with your Shore or Mountain home. Reach out for a FREE estimate today.