Talking About Crawlspace Repairs

Are Your Windows Keeping You Warm?

by Clinton Stone

The harsh cold of winter can have a significant effect on your utility bill. This is especially true if your windows are older or lack an Energy Star rating. What qualifies windows for this rating, and why is it essential to keeping your home warm in the winter time? Here is what you should look for.

Energy Efficient

An Energy Star rating simply means that your windows are energy efficient. Energy Star-rated windows will not lose heat the way that regular single-pane windows will. This will help you to make sure that your home stays warm in the winter.

Double or Triple Panes

One of the most basic qualifiers for an Energy Star rating in windows is multiple panes. In double- and triple-pane windows, the glass is arranged in parallel layers, lessening the chance for warm air to escape.

Gas Filling

By filling the space in between the panes with a gas such as krypton or argon, there is even less chance that heat will escape. This is because gases that are less dense than air are better at insulating.

Low Emittance (Low-E) Glass

Low-e glass is glass that has been treated with a coating or film layer that helps to keep heat inside in the winter and reflect it in the summer. This layer of coating increases the energy efficiency of your windows drastically, and can produce significant savings in your utility costs.

Non-Aluminum Frame Because aluminum is such a great conductor of heat, it is a terrible insulator. Energy Star-rated windows are constructed with this fact in mind. Many are made with wooden or vinyl frames in order to better protect against heat transfer around the outside edges of the window.

Low U-Value

In order for a window to be considered truly energy efficient, it is given a U-value. This value is based on the amount of heat lost through the window. Generally, the lower this value is, the better the window is rated for efficiency.

Higher Energy Star Rating

While making sure that your windows are Energy Star-rated is essential, be aware that the higher the actual rating, the better quality the windows will be. All products that meet the testing qualifications for an Energy Star rating are given a number on a scale. The higher this number is, the more energy efficient the product is said to be. Looking for the Energy Star logo and a higher number is a great start to making sure your windows are energy efficient, and will indeed keep you warm in the winter.