Energy efficient is a very common claim when looking for window replacement options. It is easy for a company to claim that new windows will be more efficient than your old windows, especially if you have older wood framed windows that show signs of rot or single pane glass. But, just because a window company says their windows are energy efficient, it doesn’t mean that all windows have the same level of efficiency. If all windows are not made the same way, then it is safe to say that not all windows have the same energy saving properties.

An energy efficient window is built to prevent heat from transferring through the window. In the winter months, this means the heated air in your house will not escape and the outside cooler air will not enter through your window and in the summer months, hot air from the outside will not enter through your window while your cooled interior air will not escape. These well insulated windows will help you maintain your home’s interior temperature, while reducing the energy used to keep your home comfortable.

There are several factors that come together to make a window energy efficient. The frame holds the entire assembly together and without an energy efficient frame, the other features won’t be able to reduce energy consumption very well at all. A high-quality material that does not allow for heat transfer is best. Here at Southfield, we use 100% uPVC extrusions that are prepared with our patented formula, where modifiers and stabilizers are added to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) making it rigid and suitable for use as window frames. This high-quality vinyl will not rot or mold, is maintenance-free and does not conduct heat, allowing for more efficient heating and cooling of your home.

The glass in your windows is another important factor in your windows efficiency. Any energy efficient window will be made up of multiple glass window panes, either double panes also called double glazed or triple paned or triple glazed. These window panes are connected together using a thermal spacer and sealed to stop any air from entering or escaping from between the glass. Finally, they are filled with gas to form a sealed unit that increases energy efficiency. Triple paned windows are chosen to increase the efficiency of the window and noise reduction.

Argon gas is used to fill the space between the window panes to help insulate your replacement windows. Argon gas has no colour, no odor, is non-toxic and plays an important role in increasing the efficiency of your windows. Thermal spacers are used to connect the glass around the edges and increase efficiency by reducing heat transfer. The spacers help create the air pocket which is filled with the argon gas and sealed off.

For enhanced energy performance a Low Emissivity coating (Low E) is added to the glass to help keep heat inside your home during the winter months. The Low E coating controls how heat energy moves through your window. If the coating is applied on the interior of your glass, it prevents heat from escaping out of your home in the winter months, while allowing for heat gain from the sun. If applied to the exterior it will prevent the heat from the sun’s rays from entering, while still allowing for the natural light to enter.

Understanding what makes a replacement window energy efficient will help you make an educated purchasing decision when replacing your windows. Just remember, in the end it doesn’t matter how good your windows are constructed, if they are not installed properly all of the energy efficient features will be rendered useless and will most likely lead to additional costs down the road. Southfield Windows & Doors specializes in replacement windows and doors in Kitchener and surrounding townships. Contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation today 519-669-3872.