Are you considering energy-efficient windows for your home? If you are in the process of shopping for window replacements, energy-efficient windows are a great option, especially if you live in the Midwest. These types of windows are becoming a more popular choice for homeowners because they have many benefits including:

  • Decreasing utility bills
  • Reducing the negative effects of UV rays
  • Keeping houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter

What Makes a Window Energy Efficient?

Houses that were built a decade ago will have older windows that are not the best at reducing harmful UV rays or helping to insulate a home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30% of a homeowner’s heating and cooling use.

Based on the type of climate in your area, there are different window properties you should be looking for:
  • In colder climates, gas-filled windows that have “Low-e” protective coatings help to prevent heat loss in winter.
  • In warmer climates, look for windows with coatings that reduce heat gain.
  • Always look for windows that actively block UV rays from the sun. These will not block light, per se, but will block harmful UV rays.
  • Look for the “U-factor,” the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. This provides better thermal resistance and is best for colder climates.
  • Look at the window’s solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). This is the measure of solar radiation admitted through the window. A window with a low SHGC will reduce heat gain during the warmest months.
  • It’s generally best to select windows that have both low U-factors and SHGCs. This will maximize the amount of energy you will receive.

Look for the Simple Marks

The qualities of energy-efficient windows can become confusing (the industry jargon and scientific terms don’t help), but a good rule of thumb is to look for windows that have the ENERGY STAR and NFRC labels. ENERGY STAR windows are certified to be “energy efficient” based on their standards of qualification. NFRC stands for the National Fenestration Rating Council. Windows with this marking are products that have been independently tested and certified to be energy efficient by this organization.

Is There a “Best” Brand of Energy-Efficient Windows?

Many window manufacturers create energy-efficient windows, and while none are really “the best,” there are good and not-so-great options. At Schmidt Roofing, we work with well-known and established window manufacturers like Pella and Anderson, ensuring that you get quality windows installed on your home when you need them.

Contact us today to learn more about energy-efficient windows options for your home.

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