The windows on your home have several different roles to play, from letting in light and air to providing a safe escape in case of an emergency. One of the most important things they can do for your home is help to regulate airflow between the outdoors and the inside. Over time older windows often start to let more and more air escape from inside out, or get in from the outdoors. This leads to more temperature fluctuations inside your home and the need to use more energy cooling or heating your home.
How Windows Regulate Energy
Your windows are actually one of the biggest factors in helping you maintain a “green” home and save energy. If you have older windows that are single-pane, chances are they are allowing a pretty significant amount of air and heat transfer between the indoors and out. In the summer that means you need to use the A/C more often to keep the house cool and in winter that means you will be running the furnace seemingly non-stop to make sure your house stays warm. All this excess energy increases your carbon footprint and adds to your monthly utility costs.
Features to Look for in “Green” Windows
Today’s replacement windows in Bedford come with double and even triple-pane options so you can get the ultimate seal between the outdoors and your home interior. When you get additional features like argon gas in between the panes, or a low-e coating on the outside you get an even better level of protection against heat transfer. These features also prevent UV rays from damaging your furniture and causing the carpet color to fade near the windows.
How to Determine Energy Efficiency
The best way to find energy efficient windows is to check their ENERGY STAR rating, or to look for windows with a low U-factor rating. That means they prevent non-solar heat flow from getting through the window. Another measure is the window’s solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), or the solar radiation that can get through. Lower SHGC means the window provides better shading, while higher SHGC can help collect solar heat during winter and lower your heating bills. The climate where you live, as well as the orientation of your windows, will determine whether you need high or low SHGC.
Replacement windows in Bedford can be a great way to boost your home’s overall value and curb appeal, but also a way to help you be more “green” and save more money with improved energy efficiency.