Learn More About Energy Efficient Windows



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Egress Window Cost : Energy Efficient Windows

Energy Efficient Windows

Selecting energy efficient windows for your egress basement windows is important from a cost and comfort perspective. We will touch on some of the important points to understand and go over the benefits as well.

Double Pane Windows

Most windows today use double pane glass instead of the single pane glass used in decades past. The panes have 0.5" to 0.75" of space between them that effectively stops much of the energy transfer from one pane to the other. This helps keep heat from escaping in the winter and keeps the cool air in in the summer. It also works to keep out the heat from outside in the summer and keep out the cold from entering in the winter. The gap between the spaces is often filled with argon or krypton gas that helps in this process, as does the non metallic spacers that are typically used. Proper window glazing and good quality seals all work together to create an IGU that is an energy efficient as possible.

Performance Numbers

There are lots of numbers bandied about in the industry, but in terms of energy efficiency, we can concentrate on four. The R insulation value tells you how energy efficient the window is. Single pane windows are usually an R-1, while most well made units today will offer an R-4. U-factor is a measure of heat loss and consumers should opt for a window with a U-factor is .28 or less. Avoid windows that have a U-factor of .34 or greater. Air infiltration measure how much air passes through the window and consumers should shoot for a .10 or less. Avoid windows that have a .15 or greater AI. Finally, SHGC measures how much heat is allowed to pass through a window and will vary based on your location. If you live in a cold climate, the SHGC should be higher to allow more heat to pass through and become "trapped" in the home, thus helping to keep it warmer. The oppoiste holds true for hot climates. A quality contractor of window company will let you know the appropriate SHGC number for your specific area.

Cost Considerations

Replacement windows should last 20 to 30 years, which means you can save or lose quite a bit of money in energy costs over a 3 decade period. Energy efficient windows help homeowners save money by reducing their energy use in the summer and winter. The savings are small month to month, but they can add up to $1000s of dollars over the life of your windows.

Comfort

Energy efficient windows help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They are not like older single pane aluminum windows that will feel uncomfortably cold during the winter and you need to move away from them to not feel the chill in your bones. Staying comfortable in your own home is obviously an important consideration, especially in a basement setting where it can be rather cool to begin with.

Style Of Window

Casement windows offer good pressure seals, meaning when they are closed they are very air tight. Double hungs and single hungs are also good units, while sliders are a bit of a mixed bag in terms of energy efficiency. For the most part, look at brand and quality of the window model itself to find an energy efficient basement window. In terms of vinyl windows, we recommend the following ten companies so you should find a distributor from at least one of them in your area; Soft-Lite, Sunrise, Gorell (owned by Soft-Lite), Okna, HiMark, Milgard, Simonton, Affinity, PGT and Polaris.