Once upon a time, home owners shopped for single pane windows. Today, we are much more concerned with energy efficiency when we have a residential remodel. For starters, the traditional single window pane of clear glass offers little insulation against the cold of the winter and the heat of the summer. As you are shopping features for your window replacement, here are four features to consider when looking at windows for your residential window replacement remodel.
- Glazing – Double-glazed windows have a sealed space between the two panes of glass, and the air in the space provides an added layer of insulation. Compared with a single pane, double glazing can cut heat loss nearly in half. Triple glazing is even more efficient, as the separation layers are deeper between inside and outside.
- Low-E Coating – highly reflective materials have a low emissivity, and get a rating of 0 when they reflect 100%, and absorb no heat. Darker colored materials have a high emissivity, and get rated as high as 1 if they absorb all of the heat. Radiant energy is one of the important ways heat transfer occurs with windows. Reducing the emissivity (or growing the low-e coating) of one or more of the window glass surfaces improves a window’s insulating properties. Therefore, having low-e glass improves the insulation of a home from external temperatures in any climate
- Gas Filled – Instead of air in the sealed space between glass panes, these windows use argon, krypton, or other inert gas. These gases are denser than air, so they provide better insulation.
- Insulated frames- instead of hollow channels, look for a product that has insulation inserted into the frame cavities; preferably foam inserts, in lieu of injected foam, which can impede the structural integrity of the frames.