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Today’s homeowners are concerned about energy efficiency when building or renovating their homes. Saving energy helps conserve resources and is a way to be mindful of your finances. Energy-efficient windows are popular as homeowners experience a fast return on investment due to energy savings.

If you’re in the market for new windows, here are a few tips to help you choose the best option for your home.

Energy-Efficient Window Frame Materials

While various frame materials are available, some are better at reducing utility costs. Wood is more susceptible to weather fluctuations compared to aluminum but provides better insulation. Each material has advantages and disadvantages.

Aluminum: While aluminum isn’t the best performing material for heat loss and transfer, it is good for humid, rainy environments. Due to the strength of this material, aluminum window frames meet coastal building codes in hurricane-prone environments.

Vinyl: Vinyl window frames are practical and budget-friendly. They provide excellent energy efficiency with insulated glass and solid construction, reducing air leakage. The disadvantages are limited color choices, and some owners don’t like the look of vinyl

Wood: Wooden frames provide the best insulation. However, they require upkeep. Because they have the potential to rot, wooden frames are not ideal for climates that are rainy or humid. Well-built windows have a long lifespan, depending on the wood type.

Wood-Clad: Wood-clad frames provide a low-maintenance exterior of aluminum or vinyl while featuring a wood interior resistant to temperature transfer. However, in wet climates, they can rot from water intrusion. They should have waterproof rubber membranes around the cladding and a sill pan. 

Energy-Efficient Windows: Types of Windows Save the Most Energy?

The most energy-efficient windows are double-paned with Low-E glass and argon fill. While these windows are costly, they make up for the cost by reducing energy bills. 

Double-pane windows provide better insulation than single-paned glass. They protect the interior of a house from UV rays/sun’s heat over summer and block heat escape during the winter.

Triple-paned windows may be a better choice in harsher winter environments. This type of window is better insulated but also more expensive. 

Which Style of Windows is Most Efficient?

Double-hung windows, where the bottom slides upwards for opening, are traditional. They are efficient in extreme climates but may not be the best choice due to air intrusion.

Casement windows work well in windy climates as they swing outward, sealing themselves tighter when the wind blows. Maintenance is required on seals and hinges to guarantee continued efficiency and stability.

Picture windows don’t open and offer more options for shape and size. Argon gas between the panes and glass choice play roles in how efficient these large windows can be. 

Energy-efficient windows must be properly sealed and installed for the best value. Using the proper materials is only the first step. All windows should be installed by a professional. They will make sure the openings are tightly sealed to prevent water seepage and heat loss, and the installer will consider the local climate to provide the best value.

Prime Home Inspection Services provides inspections to homebuyers and sellers in the Atlanta area. Contact us to request an appointment.