Choosing The Right Window

If you have weatherized and caulked your home but still experience high energy bills, some cost could be attributed to older windows. Old windows can allow a great deal of energy to be lost through the frames and glazing.  If you are in the market for new windows take note:

  • Look for Efficient Technologies: Windows have come a long way in the past few decades. New models often have multiple panes, gas fills, edge spacers, improved frame materials, and low-emission glass, all of which can reduce unwanted heat transfer. Windows without these features will be less efficient. For most mild climates you can go for the best the market has to offer (wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), saving you more than 70% of the energy lost from old windows.
  • Know the Labels: National Fenestration Rating Council offers guidance with energy performance labels like ENERGY STAR for windows, skylights and doors. These labels can help you figure out what type of performance you can expect based on seasons and regional temperate zones.

For additional guidance on replacing windows, the Efficient Window Collaborative offers tools to analyze energy costs and savings for windows with different ratings, and fact sheets with comparisons for regional zones and states.
Check the Department of Energy for more information on energy performance ratings and energy efficient windows when making this investment.