May 15th, 2017 by Eco Choice
Windows & Sustainability
Windows let air and light into your home and enhance the comfort and aesthetics of your living space. But if the window is not properly manufactured or installed, or if it’s old and weathered, it may be leaking air. Drafty windows and air leaks force your home’s HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, whether that’s heating the space in the winter or cooling it in the summer. This unnecessary energy usage takes money out of your pocket month after month. To optimize the performance of your windows, you need the right energy-efficient designs and some helpful strategies that can help keep those energy costs low.
Here we explain why windows and sustainability go hand in hand and how you can save money and gain comfort by focusing on improving the energy efficiency of your windows.
Reduce Heat Loss
A window’s overall performance is affected significantly by the quality and state of its frame. The frame conducts heat, which contributes to its overall energy efficiency. If a wood frame bows, bends, cracks, or rots, an air leak can easily occur. This will cost you more money in heating and cooling costs. You should also ensure that you are caulking the frame and using weather-stripping on the operable parts of the window during the winter for added sealant protection. Vinyl window frames do not crack, bend, warp, or rot, ensuring superior performance and energy efficiency.
The glazing of your window also affects the insulation property of your home. Older windows are often single glazed, meaning they only have one pane of glass keeping cold air out and warm air in (and vice versa in the summer). Older windows force you to rely heavily on your heat or A/C. That is why switching to energy-efficient designs are highly recommended. If you have only one pane of glass incorporated into your window designs, then it is very likely that there are energy leaks occurring that are impacting your comfort and costs.
Energy efficient windows have two or more panes of glass that are separated by a gap of air, argon gas, or krypton gas. This thicker design keeps internal air inside and keeps external air out. As an added benefit, triple-glazed windows provide superior sound abatement properties as well.
Reduce Solar Heat Gain
There are some types of glazing that also help to reduce solar heat gain. One example is tinted glass. This actively works to absorb a large amount of the incoming solar radiation caused by the sun. Reflective coatings can also be used to reduce the transmission of heat. You can also implement spectrally selective glazings into window designs that screen the infra-red radiation from the sun, while still allowing light to be transmitted inside.
Save on Utility Usage
New energy-efficient windows pay for themselves over time. The savings you receive in heating and cooling costs will well outweigh the overall cost of the windows. New vinyl windows can save up to 30% on heating and cooling costs each month.
Before selecting the new windows for your home, you should first determine what types of energy-efficient windows will work best and where. The positioning of your home should also be considered, as it will affect the amount of heat and energy your home will receive.
For instance, south-facing windows tend to lose heat and energy faster than north-facing windows. You should also get an understanding of the energy performance ratings that are associated with window design. This will help you to determine the best windows to use for the design of your home and geographical climate here in the GTA and southwest Ontario.
Lower your Carbon Footprint
Aside from the cost savings, energy-efficient window designs aim to reduce your overall carbon footprint and impact on the environment. When you employ energy-efficient products in your home design, you help to reduce your need and usage for energy. Energy and electricity involve environmentally destructive processes that have severe impacts on wildlife, air quality, and our oceans.
By switching your old windows to efficient ones, and by finding simple ways to reduce your need to bump up your thermostat or crank up the air conditioner, you are helping to reduce the energy demand and those destructive impacts.
More homeowners and business owners are beginning to truly recognize the benefits of having energy-efficient windows. Beyond the aesthetic enhancements to a property, the advancements in the manufacturer glass and frames provide the perfect win-win situation and incentive to start thinking sustainably. You get to lower your monthly heating and cooling bill, while also being able to help out our planet in a small but significant way.
When you’re ready for a window or door replacement, give us a call! Eco Choice Windows & Doors is a leading window replacement company in Toronto. We provide superior products that include the latest advancements in design to help you reduce your energy and your carbon footprint. Our staff is here to help you from the selection process to installation. Contact us and we can help get you started!