Energy-efficient replacement windows are a great investment, especially now with steadily increasing energy costs. We often get asked about how a window replacement can help homeowners save on monthly energy bills, so we figured we’d answer some of these questions:
How Does Insulated Glass Work?
To learn how insulated glass works, let’s quickly discuss the idea behind energy-efficient windows. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that as much as 48% of an average home’s annual energy consumption is spent on space heating and air conditioning. Ideally, an energy-efficient home should have enough insulation to prevent heat transfer; reduced indoor heating and cooling requirements mean lower energy consumption. The problem is that windows are mostly made of glass, a naturally conductive material. Traditional single-panel windows are a virtual freeway for heat transfer.
Using conventional insulation is impossible for window glass, so insulated glass used for window replacement is actually a double- or triple-panel glass assembly separated by non-conductive spacers. By eliminating contact between interior and exterior surfaces, it minimizes heat conduction and mitigates heat transfer. The space between these glass panels can be optionally filled with a non-toxic inert gas for additional insulation.
What Are Low-E Coatings?
Low emissivity or low-E glass is a glass coating that is designed to block undesirable parts of sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) rays and infrared rays. UV rays cause colors to fade, which is not something you want to happen with your furniture, window treatments and valuable pieces of art. Infrared rays, on the other hand, are the source of solar heat. Being a form of light, it easily passes through insulated glass. Low-E coatings, therefore, help reduce indoor cooling requirements during hot days.
What Is U-Factor, and How Does It Differ From R-Value?
Both U-Factor and R-Value measure a product’s conductive properties. U-Factor is often indicated on the energy performance labels – those white labels attached to replacement windows – and indicates how well a product resists heat transfer. A low value means better insulation.
R-Value, on the other hand, measures transmittance. Therefore, a replacement window with a low U-Factor will have a high corresponding R-Value.
If you have other questions about energy-efficient window replacement options, call Kiernan Remodeling and Design, Inc., today at (941) 981-7744. Use our contact form to request your free, no-obligation quote at your home or business. We are located in Bradenton, FL and serve nearby areas, including Palmetto and Sarasota.