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What Makes A Window Energy Efficient?

by KE JIAYI 18 Apr 2023 0 Comments

An energy-efficient window reduces a structure's need for artificial heating and cooling. In the past 25 years, technological development has allowed for the creation of windows with up to four times the heat and cold insulation of traditional windows.

Energy-efficient windows are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners trying to reduce their monthly expenses. The advantages of energy-efficient windows are infinite, starting with the fact that they lower your energy bills while raising the overall worth of your house and your standard of living. So what exactly defines an energy-efficient window?

The Installer:

The manufacturer provides training to installers to guarantee that: installation is carried out following suggested procedures and requirements. Each window is optimized to reach its maximum energy-efficiency potential using the correct equipment and premium filler materials.

Check reviews and look for organizations that provide lifetime warranties on labor and supplies to ensure you hire the best installer.

Energy Star:

Installing ENERGY, STAR-certified windows can cut energy expenditures and ecological footprint by an average of 12% when compared to non-certified alternatives. When you purchase ENERGY STAR-certified windows, you are purchasing a product that has been tested rigorously against industry standards by a recognized Canadian laboratory, with test results that have been independently validated.

ENERGY STAR windows come in a variety of styles. Look at the Energy Rating (ER), which balances air leakage, SHGC, and the U-factor. The efficiency of the product increases with the "ER" value.

The Window Style:

The ability of window manufacturers to level the playing field and make the majority of window types equal has dramatically improved. Even though some expert installers feel that some operating window designs offer greater energy efficiency than others, every manufacturer is unique. Picture windows will always be the most energy-efficient option because of their inherent design.

The Frame and Sash:

The window's total energy efficiency can be raised by improving its thermal resistance, especially its U-factor or heat loss rate. All frame materials have pros and cons, even though metal is less thermally resistant than fiberglass, wood, vinyl, and other composites.

A window's thermal resistance and overall energy efficiency will be improved using high-quality materials like wood and various cladding alternatives. The higher purchase price will frequently outweigh the reduced energy costs throughout the window's life.

A lot of frames and sash materials have advantages and downsides, but typically, vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and composite will offer more thermal resistance than metal.

The Glazing:

In most windows, choosing glass is the most crucial energy-efficient choice. You might even wish to select several types of glass for various windows around your house depending on numerous window design aspects like window orientation, temperature, building design, etc.

Single glazing may be included in older structures, but double or triple glazing is nearly always seen in modern, energy-efficient designs. The characteristics of insulating glazing units, or IGUS, are influenced by the type of glass chosen, the coatings on the window's glass, the gas utilized to fill the space among the panes, as well as the spacers that hold the glazing apart.

Coating & Tints:

Special tints and coatings for window glass are available; these features may or may not improve a window's functionality and energy efficiency.

Silver has been put as a thin reflective coating on the surface of Low Emissivity Glass (Low-E/LOE), reducing the amount of heat that may pass through it. In the summer, it reflects heat towards the sun; in the winter, it reflects heat back into the house. It can be produced in a variety of ways to achieve the ideal balance between solar gain, light transmittance, and UV blocking.

Since tinted glass only reflects visible light and provides no passive solar heating benefit in the winter, it does not formally qualify as an energy-efficient solution.

The Gas:

The voids between multi-paned windows are filled with inert, odorless, colorless, non-toxic gases like Argon, Krypton, and Xeon. These gases replace the previously present air between the windows' glass panes, making them less conductive than air and more effective at reducing heat transfer between the panes.

The more common gas is argon because it costs much less than krypton. Krypton is frequently utilized in applications where the thickness of the entire glazing unit must be kept to a minimum. Compared to Argon and Kepton, Xenon is extremely expensive and frequently utilized in vast expanses of glass.

The Spacer:

Instead of using metal as window insulation, 100% polymer structural foam keeps your windows condensation-free and thermally efficient. The Super Spacer®, which Window Nation utilizes, reduces the U value or the rate of heat loss by.01.

The window's efficiency increases with de Glass spacers to keep glass panes apart and boost thermal performance by reducing the temperature transfer between window panes while also adding durability and a place for gas fills.

It should be emphasized that windows are assessed by the sum of all sections rather than by individual components, despite some spacer technologies performing better than others. Condensation Resistance (CR) and Energy Rating (ER) numbers, representing a window's overall performance, should be considered when comparing windows.


The majority of windows have weatherstripping around their edges. To prevent draughts, this plastic substance forms a tight seal. The type and quantity of weatherstripping are crucial for having windows that are energy efficient. A fibrous substance is included in high-quality weatherstripping to improve the seal. On a window, the more weatherstripping, the better.

Not all weatherstripping configurations are the same; some work better than others. To ensure you are getting the most energy-efficient, compare air leakage (AL) available measurements for most ENERGY STAR-certified windows. The smaller the "AL" number, the less air leakage.

The Hardware:

The energy efficiency of a window is not increased by hardware (cranks, hinges, operators, and multi-locking mechanisms). Because most hardware components are composed of metal, they readily collect heat from warmer things and transfer heat to cooler ones. Also, because they need gaps in the frame to operate, which reduces the integrity of the insulation, windows lose some of their ability to insulate. When closed, these physical components do help to create an airtight sealing.

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