What Makes a Window Efficient?
People everywhere who are shopping for new windows want to know if particular window brands are energy efficient. They know they want energy efficient windows, but many do not even know exactly what constitutes energy efficiency. A question some folks ask (and maybe others ought to ask) is, "what makes a window efficient?" the answer to this question is relatively simple, but in some ways it is easier said than done. In other words, it's easy to describe an energy efficient window, but not as easy to build one.
Energy efficiency in the most general sense just speaks to getting more use out of less energy. In the way that it is applied to windows, energy efficiency refers to the window's ability to help a home become more energy efficient. In other words, energy efficient windows are those that do their part to help homes stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer without the heating and cooling systems having to work as hard or as often.
Energy Efficiency an Important Factor
Energy efficient windows help cut home energy bills, so they save monthly utility expenses. But more than that, they also help a home run in a more efficient and environmentally conscious fashion. If your home uses less electricity and produces less pollution to achieve the same level of comfort for its occupants, you have moved a step closer to green living in your home.
There are different ways to evaluate energy efficiency in windows you are considering buying. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label on the window is a good place to start. Check out information on the U value, solar heat gain, and visible light transmittance on the window in question. An efficient window will be Energy Star approved.