Every homeowner knows that replacement windows are an investment in the look, feel and value of a home. However, many of those same homeowners put of upgrading their old, drafty windows with new and energy efficient replacements because of the costs.

It is true, that those costs can be significant, however, energy efficient windows are a real investment, as they save money on electric bills and increase the value of a home at the same time.

Standard, double-hung, double pane vinyl windows can run anywhere from $300 to $700 per window. That type of cash is nothing to sneeze at. However, energy efficient windows keep a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The US Department of Energy estimates that the average homeowner saves $350 per year when they upgrade to energy efficient replacement windows thanks to advancements in technology that have led to better fit, form, function, insulation and sunlight transmittance. These savings can offset the cost of the windows over time, and increase the resale value of a home, which means the benefits can far outweigh the costs.

Insulation In Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient windows offer several layers of protection against energy loss. When shopping for new windows, be sure to pay attention to a few major features:
  • U-value (or U-factor): measures a window unit's resistance to heat loss. The lower the U-value, the more energy efficient the window.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): Measures how much solar radiation enters a home through the glass. The lower the SHGC rating, the less solar heat is transmitted.
  • Panes: Triple-pane windows are typically the most energy efficient.
  • Gas Insulation: make sure that the window contains argon gas insulation between the panes.
And lastly, a window with a low air leakage rating has tighter sealing around the frame area and is a more energy efficient window than one with a high leakage ranking.

Sunlight Transmittance

Most homeowners want to let natural light into their homes, and for good reason! Letting in views of nature and natural light are beneficial in many ways. With energy efficient windows, you can keep the natural light, but regulate how much of that light is transferred to heat in the home. Visible Transmittance (VT) is a measurement of how much visible sunlight is coming into the home. The Light-to-Solar Gain (LSG) is the ratio between the SHGC and VT and gauges the relative efficiency of glazing types in transmitting daylight while blocking heat gains. When reading the label, the higher the number, the more light is transmitted without adding excessive amounts of heat.

Proper Installation

Because energy efficient windows require a significant cash outlay, and because proper installation is essential in realizing the true benefits of replacement windows, it is necessary to work with window professionals in order to protect your investment. There are important manufacturer guidelines that must be adhered to when installing windows, and in general, window replacement is not a DIY project.

If you are considering replacing your old, inefficient windows, the team at Legacy Remodeling in Pittsburgh is here to help you. We can walk you through the process of selecting windows that will help you save money on your energy bills and will improve the look, feel, and value of your home – all within your budget. Contact us today to learn more.