Worried that your windows aren’t 100% weatherproof this holiday season? You’re not the only one. ENERGY STAR is pushing forward by certifying only the most energy efficient windows and doors for individuals looking to save money on energy bills.
ENERGY STAR qualified windows include information on a windows u-factor, solar heat gain coefficient, and visible transmittance, so you know you’re choosing a window that will save you money in the long run.
The u-factor describes the amount of heat that escapes through glass naturally. The goal for ENERGY STAR windows is to have a low u-factor, meaning the windows are transferring heat from one side to the other.
The solar heat coefficient describes the amount of heat that enters the home from the sun. Although some heat might be nice in the winter season, most windows should block out heat from the sun, the interior of the home is not drastically affected during the summer.
Visible transmittance describes the amount of sunlight that is able to pass through a window. ENERGY STAR windows should be able to let in as much light as possible, so you can avoid turning on artificial lighting during the daytime. The higher the visible transmittance, the more light is shining through into your home.
At Harvey Building Products, many of our ENERGY STAR certified windows are equipped with a weather glaze that is added along the edges of the windows. The glaze acts as a sealant to guarantee that air and moisture can’t make their way into the home. Many homeowners don’t even realize that their windows are leaking cold air into the house. The glaze prevents this kind of passive waste of energy.
Glaze might come with windows when they are first installed in your home, or it can be applied to older windows as a solution for air leakage due to age. Although it’s not a permanent fix, glazing your windows can help mediate temperatures in your home. We recommend that all of your windows are inspected regularly, and replaced when they are no longer considered energy efficient. The best way to take advantage of low energy costs with glaze is to choose windows that are already professionally glazed.
Some doors are also ENERGY STAR certified. These doors are insulated and weather-stripped, so air is not able to pass through the door when it is closed. Although it may seem like an obvious fix to add a weather-strip to a door, homeowners are constantly wasting money and energy with poorly insulated doors.
There are a number of energy efficient options when it comes to home renovation, but you need to be proactive when finding the right materials to keep your house beautiful and safe. Ask us about our ENERGY STAR options and how they can save you hundreds of dollars every year.