Best Windows for a High-Efficiency Home

In days past, windows were responsible for a substantial amount of energy loss in a home. Single-paned windows with clear glass were the worst offenders, and fortunately, they are almost extinct in most modern homes.

Understanding the R-value and U-value of windows

In today’s market, many efficiency-boosting features are available from the high-quality window & door manufacturers. Toronto’s Neufenster windows for example recently introduced high tech European tilt and turn windows to the Canadian market that feature triple-pane glass. These windows, which come in a variety of styles and designs, maintain a high very R-value. The R-value is a measure of the window’s resistance to heat conduction. Higher R-values mean better energy-efficiency.

When shopping for windows, another factor to consider is the U-value. The U-value of a window is a measure of the heat transfer through the glass. In determining the U-value, technicians measure how much heat is lost through a window in one hour.

 Most windows will have two U-values. One is a measure of heat loss through the glass, and the other is a measure of heat loss throughout the entire window and frame. The lower the U-value, the better the window is at reducing heat loss.

How to know if a window is energy-efficient

Double-paned glazed windows with insulation between the panes have become the new standard for windows in most homes today. While these windows offer a marked improvement over the older single-paned windows, designers and homeowners are now putting more effort into making homes more energy-efficient than ever before.

The double-paned glazed windows typically held an R-value of about three. New, high-efficiency windows have an R-value of five. The increase in the R-value from three to five can reduce heat loss by thirty to forty percent.

The goal for high-efficiency windows is to have them become as energy-efficient as the wall on to which they are installed. Most experts in the field of energy-saving in home and building designs feel that an R-value of five should be the new minimum, and companies that make windows should shoot for an R-value of seven.

The best windows for high-efficiency

Are high-energy efficient windows worth the cost?

Energy-efficient windows can make a dramatic difference in your energy cost, and most will pay for themselves many times over in energy savings. As homeowners become more ecologically aware, high-efficiency windows also add substantial value to a home.

A one-time federal tax credit is also available to homeowners who take steps to improve the overall energy efficiency of their homes. The tax incentive is meant to offer a more immediate offset of some of the cost-saving energy use in existing homes.

The energy used to heat and cool residences creates a significant environmental price-tag. Reducing the amount of energy consumed is better for the environment. Environmentally responsible consumers are drawn to measures they can take to save energy consumption, not just to save money, but to reduce the ecological footprint of their homes.

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