What Makes A Window Energy Efficient?

Every opening in a wall of your home makes it less energy efficient. That's why many people are concerned about the energy efficiency of windows when they are making an upgrade. That can cause you to question what makes an energy-efficient window so that you know what you should be looking for. 

The Glass

The standard for energy efficiency these days is to have double pane glass at a bare minimum. This allows the area between the glass to be filled with a special insulating gas, which prevents cold temperatures from coming into the home during the winter. This is considered the gold standard for any window that has an Energy Star rating since that special layer of insulating glass is not possible with a single pane glass window.

There is also the option for triple pane glass. As the name implies, it has three panes of glass with two layers of insulating gas between them. It does cost more money, but it may make sense depending on where you live.

One thing to keep in mind with double and triple pane glass is that the seal can fail over time, which allows that insulating gas to escape. When this happens, there is typically condensation that forms between the glass panes. This means that the window will need to be repaired in order to create an insulating layer between the inside and outside of your home. 

The Closure Method

You also should think about how a window opens and closes, as windows can make a big difference in terms of energy efficiency. Sliding windows are not going to be as energy efficient as casement windows, which is due to how a sliding window closes. The seal is not very tight, which can potentially cause drafts to come through the window and allow air from the outside to get into your home.

A casement window is a bit different since it opens and closes like a door on a hinge. When you lock the door, the latch actually pulls the window inwards so that it creates a tight seal. You'll definitely notice an improvement in energy efficiency with a casement window.

The Material

Some window materials are more energy efficient than others due to the material they are made out of. Aluminum windows are affordable, but offer the least amount of energy efficiency due to how the material transfers temperatures from the outside to the inside of your home. Vinyl and wood windows are going to do a great job at preventing temperature transfers, which makes either a great choice for your home.