If you’ve been experiencing a lot of drafts in your home, your windows just won’t open and close properly, or you’re planning a renovation, it may be time to replace those old windows with more energy-efficient ones. But how do you choose the right ones? We are here to help.

Energy-efficient replacement windows not only reduce your heating and cooling bills, they give you more consistent year-round comfort. Plus, they add a lot of beauty to the inside and outside of your home. Here’s your guide to choosing energy-efficient windows as you shop around for the best manufacturers and installers.

Energy-Efficient Glass

The first step is to look for windows with energy-efficient glass. The right glass, optimized for the specific climate here in New England, will cut down on your heating and cooling costs through the slowing down of thermal transfer. Stick with dual- or triple-paned glass that comes with argon or krypton gas in between, as the presence of these gases improves insulating properties. You can add UV protection to your glass by adding laminated, tinted, tempered, or obscure insulating glass, which will also keep your home more comfortable and energy efficient.

Opt for windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings on the glass to control heat transfer. According to the Department of Energy, low-E glass can reduce energy loss by 30 to 50 percent. The layers of thermal protection found inside insulating glass helps with:

  • Reflecting summer heat and retaining interior cooling
  • Reflecting winter cold and retaining interior heat
  • Blocking harmful UV rays to prevent damage from fading

Aside from energy-efficient glass, be sure to keep curtains, blinds and shades closed on sunny days this summer, and open them up when winter comes.

Window Installation

Proper window installation is key to increasing energy efficiency in your home. This also prevents air infiltration and costly water damage. When installed incorrectly, it’s very possible that your windows will not operate properly. Only professionally-installed, tightly-sealed windows can prevent air leaks and drafts that reduce the loss of cool air in summer.

Regional Considerations

The area of the country in which your home is located will also determine which windows you should get. Geographic location and climate play a big role, so check out this guide here. Here in the Northeast, for example, it’s best to go with vinyl frames and U-values of 0.3 or lower, which contain at least two layers of glass that are separated by a gas barrier. They also have low-E coatings.

Frame Construction

The frame material you choose will influence the window’s overall energy efficiency.

  • Wood windows: Providing excellent insulation, wood has low conductivity and will transfer less cold or heat into your home.
  • Fiberglass: Offering insulating properties very similar to wood, fiberglass frames are comprised of a thermoset material that will not melt or breakdown when exposed to high and low temperature swings.
  • Vinyl: This material reduces heat loss for extra energy efficiency, plus they are very easy to care for. They contain multiple air-filled chambers that slow down heat transfer.

Energy Efficiency Labels

Be on the lookout for windows that have labeling indicating their energy-efficient benefits. Specifically, you will want to confine your search to windows with ENERGY STAR® and NFRC labels, which means they have been tested to meet strict performance standards.

Contact Hi-Tech Windows and Siding for Window Replacement

Hi-Tech Windows and Siding takes pride in educating its customers on the energy efficiency of various windows and brands. Got more questions? Just ask us! Give us a call at 800-851-0900 or Request a Quote online today. We only work with the most trusted window manufacturers around.