Old windows can cause your heating and cooling bills to skyrocket because the air easily slips through the windows or gaps around the windows. If your windows are old, and you want to replace them, consider investing in energy-efficient windows for their many benefits. Check out these five frequently asked questions regarding energy-efficient windows.
1. Why Are They Double-Paned?
The bet energy-efficient windows are double-paned, which is one reason they are more expensive than other windows. The reason they are double-paned is to prevent drafts inside the home. During the cold months, you keep the air inside your home warm, but the air outside is cold. If you have a single-paned glass, the cold and hot air touch the same piece of glass. Naturally, the cold air chills the glass. When the hot air touches it, it cools and falls, creating a draft, so you turn up the heat. The space between the panes is often filled special gasses that offer extra insulation.
2. What Are Low-E Coatings?
Energy-efficient windows also usually have low-E coatings, which block some invisible light waves like UV rays. This is beneficial in two ways. First, it prevents some heat from entering your home without affecting the amount of visible light spilling into your home. Second, because UV rays are blocked, you see less fading to your curtains, floors, furniture, etc. You can purchase low-E window sheets that cover your existing windows. These will help block UV rays, and they are much cheaper, but they won't help your windows in any other way nor boost the value of your home.
3. What Is U-Factor?
When looking at building material, the insulation levels are usually measured by the R-value, but windows are measured by the U-factor. The U-factor you want depends on where you live. Usually, in hotter climates, you want a higher U-factor to keep the heat outside. If you have skylights, they usually need a higher U-factor because they are exposed to more sunlight.
4. Should All Windows Be Replaced?
Replacing windows is expensive, so you may be wondering if you can get the same benefit from replacing some windows in the rooms you use most frequently. Doing this, however, is simply a waste of money. For starters, you won't see great savings on heating and cooling because you still have bad windows creating drafts and letting in the sun. The other problem is that new energy-efficient windows boost the value of your home, but only if you replace them all. You'll even get about a 72.8 percent return on investment when you sell your home.
Energy-efficient windows can be a great investment in your home and save you money each month on your heating and cooling costs. There are cheaper options, such as low-E sheets, but total window replacement is your best choice to save money. If you would like more information regarding window replacement, contact a window installation contractor like A & L Home Improvement.