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Windows and Energy Efficiency

Windows can be a very vulnerable place. They are literally covering a variety of different holes in the walls of your home, and because of this, they have a great responsibility to not let too much heat or air conditioning escape into the outdoors. There are a few ways that you can make your windows more energy efficient at home without having to fully replace your windows. Consider adding calking, weather stripping new framing or treatments to enhance the energy efficiency of the windows you have now. If you’re looking to make a more significant impact however, you may want to look into replacing your older windows with a set that are designed to enhance your indoor climate and lower your energy bill at the same time.

Choosing Energy Efficient Windows

For older homes or homes with poor quality windows it’s often better to replace the old windows than trying to patch them up with some of the methods listed above. Energy efficient windows may be slightly more of an investment up front, but they will pay for themselves over time as they save you more and more on your energy bill. Not only will they impact the cost of heating and cooling in your home, they can also drastically impact lighting costs if the windows are positioned properly to take advantage of natural daylight.

Energy Performance Ratings

Ask about energy performance ratings when you are selecting your next windows. Your homes design as well as your climate will indicate which energy performance rating you should look for. In colder climates like Toronto Ontario, south facing windows are often recommended to take advantage of the heat from the sun during the winter months. To work most efficiently, south facing windows should have a “solar heat gain coefficient” of more than 0.6.
For warmer climates or for houses that get very hot in the summer, there are special types of window glazes that are available to you that will block out some of the head from the sun. There are a few different options and each have different functions. There are glazes that are designed to insulate, and also glazes that are reflective, which block out some of the solar radiation from the sun’s rays. In addition to that there are glazes that you can get that block up to 70% of heat that would normally be transmitted through the window pane.