Do leaky windows drive up household energy costs? The answer to that question is a resounding yes.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “ Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.” That means that every day you’re paying for hours of climate control that’s literally going out the window.
Some of the biggest causes of drafty windows are poor installation, deteriorating seals, single-pane construction, and worn frames. For many, the best solution to these very common issues is upgrading to energy efficient windows. The Department of Energy estimates that switching from single-paned windows to ENERGY STAR® – certified double-paned, clear-glass windows can bring annual savings between $126-$465 nationally, depending on the region.
However, finding the right energy efficient window for your home can really depend on where you live. For example, certain frame types, glazings, and insulation options might work better for some homes than others. There are also a few other things to look for and consider to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
ENERGY STAR® Rating
This symbol indicates that your windows either meet strict energy efficiency standards and exceed local energy-code requirements. ENERGY STAR® products are independently tested and certified.
National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) Rating
NFRC ratings allow you to compare energy efficient windows and doors by providing multiple energy performance ratings. This includes how well a product prevents heat from escaping a room, resists unwanted heat gain from the exterior, and effectively lights your home with natural daylight. It also rates how much air will leak into and out of a room.
Low-emissivity glass is an option for energy efficient windows. Its benefit is that it minimizes the amount of ultraviolet light allowed through the glass and reflects heat to keep it outside your home.
Tints can mitigate the amount of heat coming into your home. They often come in a variety of hues, from bronze to blue.
Filling energy efficient windows with gas provides effective insulation. This feature is often paired with Low-E coatings.