Summer is Here—Consider Replacement Windows as a Way to Help Keep Out the Heat

Summer has officially arrived, and residents across the Phoenix area are coping with the persistent triple-digit temperatures that we dread every year. From keeping the blinds closed to cranking up the air conditioning, there are many ways to try and maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. However, one method that you may be overlooking is installing replacement windows. By upgrading your home’s windows with newer, more energy-efficient models, you’ll be able to minimize your utility costs while keeping the heat out and the cooled air inside.

At Arizona Window and Door, we specialize in providing high-quality, energy-efficient replacement windows to help keep your utility costs low and the inside of your home comfortable. If you are unsure whether it’s time to replace your windows, here are a few signs to look for:

  • You’ve noticed drafts, even when the windows are closed. Drafty windows could have a number of causes, including broken seals or improper installation. But regardless of the reason, if you’ve noticed that outside air is leaking into your home even when the windows are closed, it’s a sure sign that your windows are due for a replacement—drafty windows will cause your HVAC system to need to work much harder and struggle to maintain the set temperature.
  • Your windows are single pane. Common in older construction, single-pane windows (as the name implies) have just one layer of glass. With little standing between your home’s interior and the outdoors, an estimated 90 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can enter through single-pane windows.
  • You hear a lot of noise from outside. In addition to drafts, outside noise seeping into your home could indicate that your window’s seals are broken or deteriorating—or that the windows were poor quality to begin with.
  • It’s difficult to open, close, or lock the windows. If it has become a challenge to use your windows, it may be a sign that they are rusting or the frames are rotting, or that they were poorly installed. In addition to being a nuisance, this can pose a safety threat as the windows may not properly secure your home—not to mention the fact that windows that are not fully closed will cause drafts.
  • Condensation is accumulating between the window panes. While double-pane windows are more energy efficient than single-pane varieties, the gas between the panes that enhances insulation will escape if the window seals have deteriorated. You can determine if this has occurred by watching for a buildup of condensation or cracked window glass.

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.

Low-E coatings

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.

Window frames

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.

Proper installation

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!