Insulation And Reflectivity: Two Keys For Energy Efficient Windows

by Connor Pena

When you move into an older home, your windows are likely not as efficient as they should be. Single-pane windows have next to no insulation value, but even older double-pane windows should not be considered energy efficient. Modern construction techniques will enhance a window's ability to isolate the climate inside your home. To get the best value for your money, you need to pay attention to what gas is sandwiched between the glass in your windows and what is used to coat the glass. 

Window Filler

In years past, window manufacturers would sandwich a layer of air between two layers of gas. This provides some separation between the outside air and your home, but you will get better results with a denser gas. Argon is a naturally occurring gas which is much denser than air. If you buy argon-filled windows, you will get better insulation than you would get with ordinary oxygen-filled windows. Even with the gain in insulation, your windows will still not be as efficient as they should be. This is where a good window coating can make a difference. 

Window Coatings

If you live in a Northern climate, you can benefit from solar heat gain. Solar heat gain refers to the way that the sun's UV rays can heat up your home. Thus, you should look for a window coating that will not filter out much of the sun's rays. Window coatings can also reflect heat into your home. Thus, a window coating that allows heat gain but will still reflect heat into your home is ideal for a Northern climate. If you live in the South, heat gain can make your air conditioner work overtime. Thus, you should look for window coatings that filter the sun's rays out to help keep your home cooler. As these examples illustrate, choosing energy-efficient window coatings will depend on the climate you live in. 

Old, drafty windows can really undermine your HVAC system. The harder your furnace and AC unit have to work, the more you end up paying in heating costs. Furthermore, running your HVAC system all the time can increase your carbon footprint. For a budget-conscious homeowner with a strong environmental conscience, the choice of window is a key step in choosing the components of a home. When you replace the windows on an older home, you should make sure you buy the most energy-efficient product you can afford. 

To learn more about replacement windows, contact a company like Gulf Coast Builders Inc.