Maintenance-Free Renovations are Finally Here
Home expenses come in many shapes and sizes. Between gas, electric, phone bills, mortgages and more, it is certainly reasonable to look around for ways to slow that outward cash flow. Although downgrading services and cutting personal treats is always an option, modern technology does offer another possibility. With today’s energy efficient hardware and appliances, upgrading the infrastructure of your home can save your family a significant amount of cash in the long run. There are many types of efficiency upgrades, from refrigerators and ranges to washers and dryers, to water heaters and beyond. If you live in a harsher climate (an area that generally gets very hot in summer and very cold in winter), one of the easiest and most cost-effective upgrades are your windows. High performance windows are not only stronger and more durable than old-style panes, they can be far more efficient, keeping the cool air or comforting heat inside, as needed, and reducing the stress and operating expense of your home climate systems.
Just how important are premium quality products? Find out when you stop by Golden Windows and read about the effect that properly measured energy ratings can have on your consumption and your overall environmental footprint. According to Energy Star, low quality windows account for up to 50% of a home’s “climate loss” in a typical year. Simply put, of all the ways that your house lets hot air in or cold air out, windows are the most critical. In fact, depending on your home’s style, windows account for between 10 and 25% of the surface area of exterior walls. High performance windows are important enough to be built into almost every new home constructed, and upgrading existing windows should be a priority for any family looking to increase home efficiency.
There are two main things to consider when looking at energy efficient windows: chiefly, the materials of the window, which are highly prioritized by environmentally-conscious companies such as Golden Windows, and the air tightness of the installation. Let’s take a look at window materials first. If most people were asked to think about what makes a window better, this would be what they think of first. Thicker, high quality glass is the first component of a quality window, along with secondary double or triple glazing. This sounds complex, but in simple terms it just means that the window contains two or three separate panes of glass, separated by either a vacuum or a gas-filled space (using a harmless inert gas such as argon), with the intention of limiting temperature transfer. On top of this, many top technicians at Golden Windows provide something called “Low-E Coating,” which is yet another method of preventing energy transfer, this time by coating the glass panels with invisible compounds or films that resist heating and cooling.
The next consideration must be installation and air-tightness. The best window in the world, installed poorly, is nothing but a hole in a house. Too many home owners buy components that are physically of high quality, and ruin their efficiency with shoddy installation. It is important to ensure that the window installation team is professional and knowledgeable in the type of windows being installed, and understands the concept of energy efficient installation in general. Insulated frames, including wood, vinyl, and fiberglass tend to be better than standard aluminum framing, and installation should be completed with the appropriate caulks, foams, and weather stripping. With proper window choice and a good professional installation, high performance windows can provide both durability and savings over the lifetime of home ownership.