Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 by Ted Swanson
The number one reason most homeowners invest in new windows is to reduce energy loss. Windows are largely composed of glass, which is not a great insulator, but improvements such as Low-Emissivity (Low-E) glass and better structure can reduce energy bills by reflecting warm air back into your home during the winter, or blocking unwanted solar heat from coming into the house during the summer.
A spacer system made with stainless steal, such as the ClimaTech ThermD found in Alside’s new Mezzo Window, stabilizes the panes of glass and improves the gas retention to increase the window’s thermal performance.
When looking for an energy-efficient window, find one with the Energy Star Label. Energy Star is a government-backed voluntary partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to distinguish energy efficient products. This program sets the standard for which windows are considered energy efficient. Based on the U-Factor (measurement of the rate of heat loss) windows must be lower than a U-Factor of .30 to meet Energy Star requirements in the Minneapolis area, with lower U-Factors indicating increased energy efficiency. Correspondingly, The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures to what degree windows allow solar heat into the house during the summer. The lower the SHGC, the more you’ll save on cooling bills.
Both factors are important when choosing new windows for your home. When investing in your house, it's best to choose a style that not only looks good but will also lower your impact on the environment and save you money in the meantime.