As we approach full cool down mode with St. Louis fall weather it’s a great time to start thinking about your windows. Drafty windows can be a burden on your home and your heating bill. It’s important to have windows that keep the cold air out and the warm air in. In order to do that, you need to know which windows will be the most energy efficient. Here’s information that can help you decide the best windows for your home.
If you’ve ever looked at windows before you may have seen different energy performance ratings on them. If the ratings aren’t labeled in detail, it could be confusing deciphering their meaning. Let’s break down what these ratings are telling you.
U-Factor: A metric that determines how much heat is lost in your home from a particular window. Typical U-Factor ranges from 0.15-1.20. The lower the number, the more effective your windows are at keeping heat in.
Visible Transmittance (VT): Simply put, VT is the amount of light that comes through the window, ranging from 0-1. The higher the number, the more light will shine through.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): SHGC is similar to VT. But unlike light, it measure how much heat from sunlight is resisted. This is also measured from 0-1. The lower the number the less heat is gained through solar light.
Air Leakage: Refers to how much air travels through the window from the exterior. Measured from 0.1-0.3, the lower the rating the less air leakage occurs.
Double-Pane and Triple Pane Windows
Traditionally the more panes of glass in your window, the better insulated they’ll be. Double pane windows are a popular choice for homeowners. These windows usually have Low-E glass, glass that has a coating which helps infrared and ultraviolet light bounce off the window. As a result your house will stay warmer and your furniture, window treatments and carpet won’t fade as fast. Double pane windows usually have argon or krypton gas in between the panes as these gases have better insulating properties than regular air.
Triple pane further increases the windows efficiency and are good for homes with southern exposure because they decrease the level of natural light and also the amount of heat let in by the window. If you live by a highway or a busy street, triple pane windows can reduce sound. Also, the added pane of glass in triple pane windows may increase the level of security within your home. They are heavier than double pane but that shouldn’t be a problem if you hire a reliable company that has experience installing these types of windows.
Once you choose which pane window you have, you’ll choose the operating style of the window. The most popular style today are double hung windows but this is really up to personal opinion and what style you like best. The above illustration shows the options available and how each style functions.
If you’re in need of a window replacement, call the experts at Exteriors by Mosby. We have a team of planners, architects and craftsman that will ensure your home gets the functionality, safety and style you deserve. Call our office at 314-909-8383 or contact us here.