Increasing Energy Efficiency in Current Windows
It is not necessary to completely replace your current windows to improve the energy efficiency . Here are a few ways to increase your current window’s energy efficiency:
- Install storm windows – Storm windows can help reduce air movement in and out of existing windows by as much as 50%, thus improving the energy efficiency.
- Apply weather-stripping – Weather-stripping can be applied around the moving parts of windows and doors to reduce air leakage through seals. Weather-stripping is ideal for locations that move because it can withstand friction, weather and temperature changes.
- Apply caulking – Similar to weather-stripping, caulking can prevent air from leaking through small cracks, gaps or joints. Caulking should not be used in locations with moving parts because it cannot withstand the wear and tear.
- Add window treatments or coverings – By adding window blinds or draperies, you can increase the energy efficiency of your windows by 33%. Window coverings give you the option to completely block out the direct sunlight to keep your house cooler. Additionally, adding awnings to your windows can reduce solar heat by up to 77%, which greatly improves your window’s energy efficiency.
Installing New Energy Efficiency Windows
If you are looking to completely replace your current windows with more energy efficient windows, there are different design options to consider.
- Energy rating – While most new windows are already equipped with high energy performance ratings, such as Energy Star®, it is important to pick windows with an energy performance rating based on your climate.
- Window glazing – Another option to consider is window glazing, which can reduce solar heat gain. Most window glazing options are low-e coatings deposited directly onto the surface of the glass. The tinted glass can then absorb large amounts of solar radiation.
- Window design – There are many different opening options for windows that can affect the energy efficiency. The best opening options for the most energy efficiency windows include awing, casement, and hopper windows. Fixed windows are also energy efficient, but they are permanently sealed so they do not allow for any ventilation.
- Window frame – The window frame that you choose can also improve the energy efficiency of your windows. Vinyl and wood-clad window frames offer the best energy efficiency, but they have some drawbacks. Aluminum and wood window frames can also be used for window frames, but they are not as energy efficient.