Last week we touched on four factors to know about when choosing new windows for your home – either as replacements or for your custom home. These four factors are: Glass, Design, Frame, and Installation. Let’s take a closer look at what to know about these four essential parts of a window.
When it comes to window glass, there are a lot of buzzwords that get tossed around, what is really necessary for a good window that is going to last and be worth the money that you put into it without breaking the bank? Double-pane windows with a vacuum-sealed argon fill and low-E glass. It will probably cost you an additional $30-50 per window but you will see a difference reflected in your energy bill. We have talked in depth about the differences in single, double, and triple pane glass in previous posts.
When looking at windows, you can usually find a sticker directly on the glass that will tell you exactly what the window’s efficiency features are. If the window has an Energy Star sticker on it then it means that it has met the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)’s standards. These standards are measured in two ways: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – measuring the amount of heat entering a house through the glass, and U-Value – measuring a window’s ability to resist heat loss. For each of these factors, the lower the number, the better energy rating it will receive.
South Texas home owners often choose UV-repellent film as a tint for their windows, it’s practically invisible but it will preserve textiles and paint as well as keeping the interior of a house cooler and save money on utility bills.
The design of a window can have huge effects when it comes to energy efficiency, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for something utilitarian or boring. In the past, custom home builders focused on aesthetics rather than function, but now the modern approach is functionality and beauty in one. A window can be both décor and an inlet for fresh air, this is especially applicable for transoms (the window above a door or another window).
Decorative windows that are also functional require a deeper casing which can contribute a lot to the aesthetics of your house as “active” transoms. If you’re looking for further benefits to be reflected in your utility bill, don’t choose a semi-circle or half-moon window as these are not as energy efficient.
Come back next week as we explore the last two of our four important window factors: Frame and Installation.