Which Energy Efficient Windows Should You be Buying?
Is that your money floating away up into the atmosphere? If you’ve got old windows, then that escaping heat has dollar signs all over it. And energy costs aren’t going down.
Now you’re here investigating whether new windows are a sound investment and which features you might like in your new windows. Well there are plenty of reasons and lots of features you’ll love having in your new home windows.
In a previous post, we talked about vinyl replacement windows and the awesome value they deliver including energy savings and internal home comfort for the family. A good portion of the value from vinyl windows (and there are plenty more benefits) is the glass itself. The technology in the glass and the glazing used is amazing.
The emphasis for these new window systems is to create a powerful barrier to thermal energy transfer through the glass or the window frame. For us here in Markham, Richmond Hill, Stouffville, or Newmarket, winters are long and cold. 170 days of cold weather can generate significant heat loss. If your windows (where most heat loss occurs) can retain that heat, you’re going to save plenty on your natural gas bills. Bottom line for most homeowners facing high energy costs is to plug the leak — the windows.
Low e Glass
If you thought the cracks around your doors and windows are where all the heat escapes, there’s a bigger problem — heat going right through the glass. That old plain glass has very limited thermal reflective value.
Newly engineered glass window panes have multiple panes with argon gas chambers sandwiched between them. The glass is coated with a metal oxide glazing. In fact, some have multiple layers of glazing and thus have far better thermal resistance. You can read up on the depth of the technology if you want, but it can be confusing to understand coming from an engineer.
Bottom line is that triple panes have the best thermal protection qualities. Consider buying triple pane.
Heat can pass through any material, including glass. New glass windows are constructed to create barriers to heat loss. Although the metal oxide glazing is very fine, heat just doesn’t get through it easily.
Your Window’s R Value is Important
Measures of thermal resistance are indicated by the R value. Energy star ratings will indicate the r value of your windows. You need to pay attention to that. High R values mean your windows have a strong reflective power – to keep your heat and money inside.
If you’re thinking of putting in sun tunnels or skylights, this same reflective coating prevents heat loss through the skylight. Old skylights are a major source of heat loss.
Thermal Reflective Qualities of Our Windows
- Double or triple panes
- Low e glazing
- Low e film
- Argon gas filled
- Insulated edge spacers
- Foam filled frames
- Vinyl windows
Yes, your new windows will have an amazing amount of technology built into them. You can save up 75% of your heating and air conditioning bills with low e windows.
e represents the emissivity rating of a surface. Low emissivity is best. That means less thermal energy is passing through the glass. The coating also blocks UV light rays which cause fading of window coverings and carpet. UV rays are not good for your eyes either.
The best low e windows utilize 3 glass panes. 2 pane low e windows are still worthy, but the third pane creates two chambers that are filled with argon gas. The argon gas is heavier than air, aiding in r value, and helps to stop oxidization of the metal glazing on the glass surface. Having two separate chambers assists in preventing heat passing through the window.
The best glazing is one that uses a cold manufacturing application of the metal oxide. Several layers creates more r value. Some utilize low e film which can work, but film might have issues over a period of years. Having the low e glazing applied directly to the glass is best.
Vinyl Doesn’t Conduct Heat
Foam filled vinyl windows get the nod for their insulation value for obvious reasons. Vinyl doesn’t conduct heat well, so it’s a great material for insulation. If your window uses insulated edge spacers, then even less heat will be transferred at the frame of the windows.
One of the smartest things you can do, is to visit our showroom in Stouffville and meet us. Let’s talk about quality windows and what customization is necessary for your home. You can be sure your custom windows and doors will be built to the highest standards. Why wait till the winter winds howl?