Whether you are building a new home or wish to make some improvements to an existing one, adding energy-efficient windows is one of the best ways to reduce your long-term energy costs. With all the options available today in frames and glazing that resist heat transfer while still allowing ample daylight through, there’s no reason to stick with those old-fashioned styles.
Right at the start, when you and your general contractor draw up plans for your home’s design, keep in mind that what type of windows and where you place them can affect their efficiency. You’ll want to balance any heating advantage during the winter with keeping your home cooler in the summer. Using south-facing windows is one way to do this; they will let heat and light in through the winter months, but the sun’s higher angle in the sky helps keep summer heat to a minimum.
If you’re not sure which type of windows are best, ask your contractor or check out the information at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver website. Here you’ll find energy performance ratings for a variety of windows sorted by climate conditions. Just keep in mind that these are general guidelines and the best window for your home should be determined by its placement in your home.
You may be surprised by the wide range of attractive energy-efficient window frames that are now available through a general contractor such as Porter Enterprises of NWA, Inc., which offers an entire line of top-quality and attractive energy-efficient windows. They’ll help you choose the best frames for your home and budget and get them installed properly.
Among the types of frames now on the market are those made of aluminum or other metals, fiberglass, vinyl, or wood. There are also composite frames that consist of wood products, such as particleboard, that are attractive and more moisture and decay resistant than wood. When you look at frames from the perspective of energy efficiency, those made of aluminum or other metals are the least efficient as these materials are very efficient heat conductors. This means that the heat inside your home will easily escape through them unless a plastic strip of insulation is inserted between the inside and outside portions of the frame.
Window glazing, or the actual glass within the frame, has advanced considerably from the old days of a single pane of glass. Today you can buy windows that are insulated and feature tinted and heat-blocking coatings. Among the most efficient is the spectrally selective low-emissivity, also known as low-e, coatings that block heat transfer through the window while still allowing normal daylight to enter your home.
Be sure to contact your local general contractor at Porter Construction to get all the details on the availability and installation of brand-new energy efficient windows and frames.