Upgrading to Energy Efficient Windows
Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows
With the recent drop in interest rates and the housing market on the rise. property owners may want to consider taking out a home equity loan to make improvements. An excellent way to build home value is by adding energy-efficient windows. If you are working on a home to sell, then these windows might be an excellent selling point. People buying a home, especially when relocating and may not see the house before move in, want to know what will help them save money as soon as they move in. We talk about six ways to scrutinize Energy Star windows below.
Depending on the building codes in the state, there are a variety of window types to purchase. Hopper, awning, and casements are windows with hinges. A hopper style window uses a hinge at the top and opens downward from this hinge. An awning window is just the opposite, with the hinge at the bottom. Casements use a hinge on the right or left side and open from that direction.
Windows with sashes are either double, single, or sliders. Single sash windows only open up from the bottom while the double version can open in either direction. Sliders are similar to casement windows because they will open from either side.
U.S. News says the National Fenestration Rating Council, or NFRC, gives detailed ratings for Energy Star windows. These classifications use a high to low scale to list things like the transfer of heat from the sun, how much air the windows leak, the amount of light that comes through the windows, and the energy loss through the panes to the outside. The higher the number, the worse the rating. The goal is to look for windows with the lowest numbers for the most energy efficiency.
The news outlet also tells readers that three Low-E tints are available for efficient windows. The more layers of coating, the darker the windows. Homeowners that want maximum efficiency might want to opt for all three layers. If the house has little natural light, then a different option may be a better choice. Cost is a factor with these coverings as well. The more coatings, the higher the price of the window.
Windows come with a variety of filling material when there are two or more panes. For example, some windows use gas like argon or krypton to stop outside air from getting into the home. Argon is great for wide window gaps while the krypton is more effective for smaller dimensions. Stainless steel, aluminum, various foams, and caulks are spacer types available to seal the windows and reduce the air leaks around the panes.
Number of Panes
Just like layers of blankets, the number of glass panels in a window makes a difference. With each additional pane, the energy efficiency rating increases. A single pane window will let the heat get through faster than multiple panes. Dual and triple-pane windows are the most desirable for saving money and energy when the insulation and installation are good quality.
Window frames make a difference in energy savings. Metal transfers heat quickly, so these frames are the least effective at stopping energy loss. The upside is that these materials are durable and affordable. Wood is a good material, but it requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep. Vinyl windows can harden and crack with exposure to UV rays, but these windows are more effective when they come with good insulating materials.
Other Things to Think About When Getting New Windows
Homeowners must consider the life of the window, the cost, and the energy savings to decide which option is the best. Great windows will not save money if the person installing them does a poor job. Good quality work is just as important as picking the right windows. The type and amount of insulation will affect the energy savings a homeowner can expect. Using thermal curtains or drapes with vinyl backing can reduce the heat transfer from the home and protect the interior from UV damage.
With refinancing and home equity loans becoming more obtainable, property owners can use lower interest rate loans to get higher quality windows. CNBC says that refinancing this winter can save homeowners as much as $150 per month. This rate cut means energy-efficient windows will pay for themselves faster.
For more assistance, or to obtain additional information, contact your trusted Arlington VA Realtor - Norma Skeete today.