As the temperatures start to drop here in Wisconsin, we begin to think about buttoning up our homes so we can stay warm and cozy over the long winter months ahead. In our northern climate, choosing the right windows can make your home more comfortable and save you money on your energy bills each month.
Windows that aren’t equipped for cold climates can’t properly keep the heat in and the cold air out. This means your HVAC system has to work harder, making it difficult to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Since your heater has to work harder, your energy bills will be higher than they should be.
Outdated single-pane windows have poor thermal performance, and worn window frames may sag or create gaps that lead to drafts. Replacing these windows with modern, double-pane or triple-pane windows can improve energy efficiency and possibly reduce your energy costs. The amount of savings you will see depends on the features you choose for your replacement windows and your location.
The material you choose for your replacement window frames is essential for your home’s energy efficiency. Vinyl is an incredibly energy-efficient material—it is water-resistant, resilient, and made from PVC. It is low-maintenance and insulates well on its own; however, it can also be filled with more insulation for even better thermal performance. Fiberglass is another good energy-efficient option that can be optimized with other features. When you customize your new windows, Storm Guard will help you decide which option is best for your aesthetic preferences and unique needs.
Features and Benefits
While upgrading the material of your old windows to a modern option like vinyl, and making sure you close any drafts can improve energy efficiency on its own, you can also add extra features to your new windows to lower their U-factor. The U-factor of a window indicates how well it insulates and how good its energy efficiency may be. There are features you can add to lower the U-factor and make your windows as energy efficient as possible.
These energy-efficient features include:
- Extra window panes – Double-pane windows are a huge step up from the outdated single panes of the past. However, you can also add a third pane for even more energy efficiency and thermal performance.
- Argon gas – You may have the option to fill the gaps between the window panes with argon gas. Since argon gas moves slower than air, heat transfer is reduced, meaning your home’s interior temperature will stay stable.
- Low-E coatings – These are microscopic metal coatings that are applied to the surface of the glass during the manufacturing process. They reflect UV rays and sunlight to mitigate heat transfer, keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- Extra insulation – Of course, adding additional foam insulation to certain window frames may also be an option to make your windows perform even better.
At Storm Guard of Madison, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners upgrade to more energy efficient, climate-appropriate windows. If you’re ready to save on your electric bills, call us today at 608-497-3301 for a free in-home estimate.