Energy Saving Windows
by: Hans Dekker
Windows are one of the great energy-wasters of any house. About 25% of the total heat loss is from traditional double glazed sealed windows. New technology, however, has resulted in more efficient energy saving windows that can significantly cut down on heat loss.
Heat loss is not the only concern with windows – they can also let in heat during summer weather. This can increase the cost of running an air conditioner.
Modern windows use special materials to treat the window glass. Low emission coatings are applied to the inside surface which reduce heat loss through the glass. The windows are constructed of two layers of glass with an inert gas in between them. This gas – usually argon – reduces heat loss even more.
To prevent the sun from over-heating the sun during the summer, the glass can be treated with a reflective coating that reduces interior temperatures. This type of coating, however, is not suitable for cold climates because the windows can also be a source of winter heat during sunny days.
There are many components to energy saving windows that can help cut down on your heating and cooling costs. The glazings (layers of glass) can be coated, and some manufacturers may use multiple glazings to reduce heat loss.
Coated glazings are beneficial in reducing heat loss and they can also reduce the amount of Ultra Violet (UV) light that enters the house. UV causes colors to fade in drapes and carpets, so using this type of window can make these items last longer.
The frames of energy saving windows can be made from wood, aluminum, PVC, or composites. The best types are wood or PVC because the heat loss from the frame itself is reduced. To further enhance the energy saving qualities of the windows, non-metallic spacers are used between the glazings.
Windows are sometimes graded according to their insulating value. Investing in energy saving windows is a great idea for both new and older homes. The windows cost a bit more than conventional windows but the savings in your utility bills will make up the difference in a few years.