The Most Energy Efficient
A common question we receive amongst home owners is, ‘Which Window is the most energy efficient?’ Most home owners, that are in need of a window replacement are typically to improve their home’s energy efficiency. And even if your primary motivation for replacing your windows is to improve your home’s appearance rather than its thermal performance, you’ll still want to make sure the new windows you’re having installed provide you with the best possible energy efficiency. So when trying to answer this question and determine the energy efficiency of a window, there are a few different factors to take into consideration. You have to consider things like the window style, the frame material, and the overall quality of the window itself.
Let’s take a look at how each of these factors leads to the most energy efficient window for your home:
When it comes to window style, fixed windows or picture windows are the most energy efficient because the sashes are non-operable and therefore are fully sealed to the window frame. This lack of seams and moving parts means that virtually no air can penetrate the windows, which provides impeccable energy efficiency, but does so at the cost of being able to open and close your windows. In terms of operable windows, hinged-sash windows such as casement and awning windows are typically the most energy efficient as they create a firm weathertight seal when closed.
There are many different window frame materials on the market, ranging from vinyl to wood to metal to fiberglass, and more. Of all of these, vinyl tends to be the most energy efficient material as it has better natural insulating properties than fiberglass and metal and won’t warp or deteriorate as wood windows often do over time. Vinyl also has a high R-value, which means it effectively reduces heat transfer—keeping warm air inside your home in the winter and preventing hot outside air from seeping inside your home during the summer months.
While name-brands aren’t everything, it’s important to choose replacement windows that you know are well made. While vinyl may have natural insulating properties, a poorly made vinyl window won’t provide the same energy efficiency as a higher quality wooden or metal window. Likewise, a window that looks great and provides exceptional energy efficiency at first, but then loses its shape after just one four-season cycle is not much of an investment.
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