Energy Efficient Windows: A Guide
With skyrocketing energy prices, homeowners and developers have adopted an energy efficient approach on new renovations and designs. However, there is also a growing trend towards having adequate ventilation and allowing more natural sunlight to enter a living area. These two ideas make it difficult for homeowners and developers to pick which one to prioritize without compromising the other. Do we want more natural light and ventilation? Or do we want energy efficiency and lower heating bills?
Thankfully with new technology and designs in modern windows, many people are realizing they can the best of both worlds. This means homeowners can now justify replacing old windows or adding new ones to improve ventilation and natural sunlight without sacrificing energy efficiency. Who says you can’t have your cake an eat it too? To breakdown all the benefits of a modern window the Garagedoorland Team brings you an easy-to-understand guide for all window features.
Multiple Window Panes
The first most obvious feature to look at when buying an energy efficient window is the glass itself. Gone are the days of windows with only one sheet of glass to insulate you from the cold. Known as single pane glass it is commonly used in older homes when a homeowner chooses to keep the original glass due to decorative or aesthetic purposes. Now a days, windows commonly come equipped with double or triple pane glass. This means a window frame with two or more sheets of glass, with a spacer between each pane. The space between is usually filled with Krypton or Argon gas to increase the thermal efficiency of the window. The spacing also creates a thermal break to prevent condensation from appearing inside your home that would cause mold or rot.
Continuing with the glass. Many modern windows come equipped with a special coating known as a Low-E Glass Coating. Low-E or known as E-Coating or Low-emissivity Coating are a thin coating placed on top of the glass panes. This allows the glass panes to reflect certain wave lengths of light coming from the sun. In the summer the Low-E Coating will reflect UV and infrared light way from your home while allowing natural light to enter. This allows a bright room without the added heat, reducing your cooling bill. In the winter the opposite happens. The Low-E coating will reflect interior heat back into your home preventing heat lost and resulting in a warmer home with a lower bill.
Many modern energy efficient windows come with a standard inert gas to fill the spaces between the windowpanes. These gasses are called Insulating Gasses, and come in the forms of Krypton, Argon, and Xenon gas. These dense gases are used to push out air from the window to create a thermal break. The thermal break will impede the transfer of outside temperatures and inside temperatures keep the temperature in your home consistent.
Window Frame Materials
Moving on from window glass. We must look at the quality and materials of the frame as well. With so many materials on the market it can be confusing to choose. In today’s industry we have our choice of:
Wood Clad materials
Depending on your needs and budget certain materials will fit your criteria better than others.
Energy Efficient Spacer Systems
Another often overlooked part of a window are the spacer systems. These spacers exist between each pane of glass to do 4 things.
1. Create a tight seal to stop insulating gasses from leaking
2. Insulate the edges of the window glass to prevent condensation and increase energy efficiency
3. Absorb thermal stress from contracting and expanding glass
4. Seals against condensation, and moisture
Spacer systems are generally made with aluminum, stainless steel or other metal alloys. But with new materials available on the market we now have our choice of Metal / Foam, Composite/Plastics, Structural Foam, and even thermoplastic spacers. All these new options can give homeowners a versatile choice to work within their budget, and requirements.
Energy Efficient Window Technology
In short windows have evolved a lot in history. From being a simple piece of glass to allow sunlight and ventilation into the household, to a high tech piece of home improvement for your home. With the multitudes of options available to pick it can be tricky. But remember when you replace your windows with newer modern windows with any budget, you can be sure that you will start saving money and have an energy efficient home in no time.
Check out our selection of modern windows for garage doors and Door Inserts. We make sure our products achieve the highest standards in the industry and offer local pickup in Toronto, and the GTA. We also provide shipping to anywhere in Canada and the continental US. Come get your windows now!