As much as 30% of the heat loss in a typical home goes straight out the windows. That means 30% of the heating oil you buy is wasted on warming up the air outside your home. Good for the birds maybe, not so good for your wallet. In order to bring the situation under control you’ll want to consider replacing your old windows with new, energy efficient windows, but exactly which windows to install in your home is not always clear.
Hgtv.com tackles the subject of replacement window installation and looks at the various options open to homeowners intent on bringing their energy bills down to earth.
Today, energy-conscious homeowners want to minimize the costs of heating and cooling their homes, and selecting the right windows is a crucial step. So how far should you go when choosing energy-efficient windows? The key is knowing what window upgrades will give you the biggest bang for your buck without delivering a blow to your bottom line.
Most people know a wood frame is less prone to heat and cold transfer than an aluminum one, since metals conduct temperature much more easily than wood. But that doesn’t mean wood is always the best choice for a utility-bill-friendly window. There are a variety of materials available for window frames, and each has positive and negative aspects.
When it comes to materials, window technology has advanced to the point that few will even consider wood framed windows any more. That leaves two materials as clear favourites for most homeowners. They would be:
- Vinyl – Vinyl windows are practically maintenance free. Vinyl is also a poor conductor of heat, meaning you needn’t worry about heat bleeding out through the window frames. Vinyl is also non-corrosive and will last for decades under normal conditions.
- Aluminum – Unlike vinyl, aluminum windows can be painted. They’re also stronger than vinyl and better at blocking out sound. However, they conduct heat and cold more effectively than vinyl which means they’re not a great choice for homes subjected to temperature extremes.
There’s more to energy efficient window installation than just materials however. It’s also important that you carefully consider the type of windows you install as different types leak air at different rates and that affects energy consumption. The most common types of window include:
- Casement – Casement windows are hinged along the side and have some of the lowest leak rates of any window. When they close the sash presses into the frame creating a tight seal.
- Fixed Pane – Fixed pane windows don’t open. Hard to beat that when it comes to preventing air leakage but a major drawback if you like to open the windows once in awhile.
- Awning – This type of window has hinges at the top and opens outward. Like casement windows, when they close the frame and sash form a nice tight seal that prevents air leakage.
- Double Hung – With double hung windows both sashes slide up and down. In the single-hung variant only the lower sash slides. This sliding however creates greater air leakage than other types of window exhibit.
- Double-Sliding – With this type of window the sliding motion is horizontal. Again with the single-pane variant only one pane will slide. As with double-hung windows, sliding creates more opportunities for air leakage.
You’ll also need to consider whether to purchase double or triple-pane windows. Each has their pros and cons. Both will do an outstanding job keeping the heat in your home, where it belongs, though triple-pane will do that job slightly better. Whether the marginally better insulation is worth the extra 25% or so you’ll pay for triple-pane will be something you’ll have to decide yourself.
Call the Window Installation Pros and Rest Easy
Lastly you need to keep in mind that even the most energy efficient windows won’t do their job very well if they’re poorly installed. Make sure you enlist the window pros from Toronto Doors and Windows to handle your window installation. We’ve been installing energy efficient windows and doors throughout the GTA for over 15 years and know how to get the job done right the first time. Call us on 647-932-3667 to schedule your window installation or to find out more about today’s amazing energy saving double and triple-pane replacement windows.