If you notice any of these signs or other indications that your windows are not in prime condition, it’s time to consider replacing them as they may no longer be insulating your home from the summer heat and winter chills. As you explore the options for replacement windows, consider the following factors to help guide you in maximizing energy efficiency—thereby optimizing comfort in your home and savings on your utility costs.
Number of panes
As mentioned above, double-pane windows are far more energy efficient than their single-pane counterparts. The two layers of glass in double-pane windows are separated by a space that is typically filled with gas, such as argon or krypton. These nontoxic, colorless, and odorless gases are denser than air, enabling them to serve as insulation against outdoor temperatures and UV rays.
While single-pane windows may carry a lower upfront cost, the energy savings from double-pane windows leads to a significantly greater return on investment over time. Triple-pane windows are also an option, but tend to be best-suited for climates that experience harsh winters; double panes work well for most homes in Arizona.
One of the most effective ways to ensure that windows will keep the heat out during the summer is to opt for those with a low-emissivity (low-E) coating, a microscopically thin, nontoxic metal or metallic oxide coating that affects the movement of heat energy from the sun. Though invisible to the naked eye, this coating is very powerful, only allowing light of certain frequencies and wavelengths to pass through the glass. Specifically, low-E coatings allow natural light to enter the home while deflecting infrared light and damaging UV rays back to the outdoors. (UV rays can burn your skin, fade upholstery, and even damage building materials over time.)
Low-E coatings help keep your home warm during the winter and cool during the summer, save your carpets, flooring, and furnishings from discoloration, and can reduce energy loss by an estimated 30-50 percent—yielding significant savings over the long term. There are options available for low, moderate, and high solar gain.
ENERGY STAR rating
A program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR provides simple, credible, and unbiased information to help consumers make well-informed decisions about the energy efficiency of the products they buy. Items that earn an ENERGY STAR rating have been independently certified to deliver strong efficiency performance and utility cost savings. Therefore, by choosing windows with ENERGY STAR ratings, you can rest assured that your new additions will help you reduce utility costs and maintain a more comfortable temperature inside your home—no matter the time of year.
Solar heat gain coefficient
In addition to ENERGY STAR, another organization that rates the energy efficiency of windows and other products is the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). For windows, NFRC labels highlight four categories that can help you gauge energy performance. When seeking a window that will help your home stay cool in the summer, the key category to consider is the solar heat gain coefficient, which measures how effectively the window can resist unwanted heat gain. The range is zero to one, and ratings on the lower end indicate better performance.
When installing replacement windows, one of the most important choices you’ll have to make is which type of frame will surround your new windows. While wood frames are often considered the best insulator because wood does not transfer heat and cold as easily as some other materials, high-performance varieties of alternative materials can also offer excellent energy efficiency. At Arizona Window and Door, all of our window frames feature the latest in energy-saving technology, as well as custom colors and designs to suit the style of your home. For example, we offer the following types of window frames:
- Fiberglass composite. As one of the newest options in the market for replacement windows, fiberglass composite windows are designed to last for many years to come. Featuring five-layer composite construction, these windows offer unparalleled strength and durability—even when faced with intense heat, strong wind, and other harsh conditions. They also come with a long-lasting powder coat finish that resists scratching and fading.
- High-performance vinyl. Our vinyl windows feature a high-performance, fiberglass-reinforced structure that offers long-lasting durability with minimal maintenance. We offer custom glass packages for optimal energy efficiency, as well as a transferable, “double-lifetime” warranty with accidental glass breakage coverage.
- Wood-clad. Combining the timeless elegance of traditional wooden windows with reliable durability, our wood-clad window frames feature a protective exterior that resists the elements and remains in beautiful condition for years to come. They are available in numerous different design options to suit the style of any home, with custom staining and painted finishes to match the existing trim and color scheme.
Once you’ve selected replacement windows for your home, it’s crucial to make sure that they are installed by a trusted professional. If installed improperly, even the highest quality windows may be prone to a variety of problems, including poor insulation and energy loss. This could negate the energy efficiency and cost savings that the new windows are designed to create.
At Arizona Window and Door, we not only provide top-quality products from industry-leading brands, but our team of expert installers will ensure that your new windows are properly installed for years of worry-free enjoyment. No matter how high the outside temperatures may climb, the energy-saving features found in our windows and doors will help you maintain a comfortable environment inside your home while minimizing your utility costs. To learn more about our product selection and how new windows can help you stay cool this summer, request a free estimate at https://azwindowanddoor.com/contact-us/ or visit our new, state-of-the-art showroom in Scottsdale!