Being Energy Efficient
Why is it so important to be Energy Efficient? When considering aspects of heat loss or heat gain in homes, studies find that windows are the largest single contributor. As a result this can have a positive effect on making your home more energy efficient. An average home may lose up to 30% of its heat or conditioned air because of outdated technology, poorly sealed doors, and single-pane windows.
Energy loss in windows happens through heat transfer mechanisms and air leakage;
- Heat moves through solid parts of the window such as the jambs, head, sill, and glazing.
- Air moves through the gaps in the frame due to shortcomings in the installation or manufacturing of the window.
There is no way to completely stop heat or energy loss but there are ways to significantly reduce it. Taking out your old windows and replacing with energy efficient ones can help you save on your energy bill. As a result this will completely change the efficiency of your home for the better.
How do energy efficient windows work?
A cold draft is a sure sign of an inefficient window. However, gaps or cracks in or around the window are not the only reason that drafts can occur. While a good fitted and mounted window is very important, so are the panes and frames.
Heat always flows towards the cold. Therefore, window glass will absorb the heat from your home and radiate it onto the colder outside surface. In the winter, the heat generated by your heating system is lost directly through cold, inefficient window panes and window frames.
Energy-efficient windows are made up of higher insulating material to preserve heat in winter and reduce leakage of cold, air-conditioned air in the summer. These new more energy-efficient windows include multiple layers of efficient glass with a reflective coating. Commonly the space between the glass is filled with gas which helps reduce leakage of indoor heat to the outside.
Selecting energy efficient windows
A few things to consider before purchasing new windows. Find windows that will be more energy efficient for your home. If there’s a weak spot in your home and you’re noticing a large amount of air leakage, try a window that has a greater energy efficiency rating.
There are many different energy-efficient windows on the market, and new technologies and discoveries are being made to improve them further.
Types of energy efficient windows
The three most popular types of energy-efficient windows are as follows:
- Double Glazed Windows
Double-glazing is the name given to the windows with 2 panes of glass, usually about 16mm. This is a better alternative to having a single pane, as the additional panel will acts as an extra layer of insulation. It is this gap which creates an insulating barrier to slow down the rate at which heat escapes from the home. To further add to the insulation, the panes of glass are separated by a gas, commonly argon.
The most energy-efficient glass for double glazing is low emissivity (Low-E) glass. This type of glass often has an invisible coating of metal oxide on one of the internal panes of glass, next to the gap. The advantage of this type of glass is its ability to let light in but cut down on heat loss.
- Triple Glazed Windows
Add a third pane of glass to double glazed window and you have triple glazing. This is sure to increase the benefits of double glazing further. Triple glazed windows are a superior form in window insulation and comes at an additional cost.
- Low emissivity windows
Low emissivity or Low-E can be as much as 40% more efficient than conventional double-glazed windows. Low emissivity windows have an invisible microscopic coating applied to its glass in order to improve its thermal efficiency. The Low-E coatings keep the temperature in your home consistent by reflecting the interior temperatures back inside. There are two types of low emissivity glass. Hard-coat Low-E glass and soft-coat Low-E glass. These are both designed for area climates. If you live in an extremely cold climate, the hard-coat Low-E glass may be an option for you, because it allows some of the sun’s short-wave infrared energy to pass through the glass. This helps to heat your home in the winter. However, if you live in a cold to hot climate, the soft-coat Low-E glass is best. The soft-coat Low-E coating also reflects cool air back into your room instead of allowing it to leak outside.
If you’re looking to replace your old windows with new, energy-efficient ones, 1st homes can help you find the perfect option for your lifestyle and your home. At 1st Homes we use only the best glass when manufacturing our windows. Our unique BSW A++ Rated Triple Glazed is one of the most advanced glass options available in casement, flush sash and vertical sliding styles. If you’re ready to lower your energy bills give us a call today at 0808 1689 500 to learn more about the services we offer.