Whether you are building a new house, purchasing an existing home or already settled in after a move, the windows in your home directly affect your comfort levels and energy costs. Ohio Roofing Solutions Ltd suggests that replacing old windows and window frames with new energy efficient models is one of the best long-term investments you can make in your home.
Combining an energy-efficient frame with the right glass or glaze for your climate customizes the look and adds to the efficiency of your windows. Here are the most common types of energy efficient frames and window glazes.
Metal and Aluminum Frames
Metal and aluminum frames rapidly conduct heat, which makes aluminum or metal alone a poor window frame choice. You can still use metal and aluminum frames, however, if you choose those with an added insulating layer, called a thermal break. The thermal break reduces the flow of heat and vastly improves efficiency. Metal and aluminum frames are lightweight and nearly maintenance free, which makes them a popular choice for homeowners.
Composite Wood Window Frames
Composite frames are made up of laminated lumber, particleboard and other wood products. Composite wood frames offer the same advantages as wood, but are more stable with better decay and moisture resistant properties.
Vinyl Window Frames
Made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and infused with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers, vinyl window frames require little maintenance and have superior moisture resistance. If you live in a very cold or hot climate, consider vinyl frames filled with insulation to further increase energy savings.
Fiberglass Window Frames
Fiberglass frames filled with insulation offer superior performance over un-insulated vinyl and wood frames.
Wood Window Frames
Wood insulates well, but expands and contracts with humidity and temperature levels, making it a poor choice for saving energy. Wood also requires regular maintenance. Some frame manufacturers add vinyl or aluminum cladding to reduce maintenance and slightly improve energy efficiency.
Window Glass Options
Window tints, glazes and fills give you a variety of ways to customize your windows according to climate, architectural design and orientation. Here are some of the most energy efficient window glass options and enhancements.
Heat-absorbing tints and glazes change the color of glass and absorb solar radiation. Bronze- and gray-tinted windows reduce heat and light penetration. Green- and blue-tints allow more light penetration and reduce heat transfer.
Insulated windows contain two or more glass panes. Fills improve the performance of insulated glazed windows with the addition of inert gas, typically argon or krypton, between the panes.
Additional coatings are available to increase energy efficiency. Low-emissivity (low-e) coatings control heat transfer with an insulated glaze. Low-e coatings are more expensive than regular windows, but reduce energy loss by 30 percent or more.
The most energy-efficient window will not work if it is not properly installed. it is best to hire a professional to make sure your new windows are installed correctly.