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Energy Efficient Windows

Windows in bad repair or that leak too much air can cause high energy bills as you try to keep the inside of your home comfortable in uncomfortable weather. You may want to consider replacing these old windows with energy efficient widows that are designed to reduce heating and cooling costs. These windows will cost between 5% to 10% more to purchase than regular single pane windows, but you can expect to save as much as 30% on your energy bill once they have been properly installed.

If you are thinking of buying energy efficient windows, consider the following:

  • The three most important factors to look for when selecting energy efficient windows are: air leakage, the amount of solar energy that passes through the glass (the solar heat gain coefficient), and how much heat moves through the glass (the U factor). For each of these, the lower the number, the better the energy efficiency.
  • All energy efficient windows have at least two panes of glass; better ones have three. This is referred to as double or triple glazing. A nontoxic gas such as argon or krypton can be installed between the panes of glass to reduce the movement of heat in or out of the window.
  • A microscopically thin layer of a Low-E coating can be applied to the glass to reduce the amount of solar heat that passes through the window.
  • The material used to make the window framing is also important. Vinyl and fiberglass do not conduct as much heat and will leak less than aluminum and wood.

You can often reduce your energy bills even further by closing your curtains or shades on hot days and keeping them open on sunny, cold days. Heavy curtain material will help reduce drafts.

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