The energy efficiency of a house can be dramatically increased by the installation of replacement windows. Homeowners must be aware of these five facts to find the options that will give them the most energy savings.
1. Shatterproof glass is becoming increasingly popular as it provides additional security against break-ins and severe weather. The glass is shatterproof because of a layer of plastic that is sandwiched between two glass panes. These are two to four times stronger than standard glass and are as energy efficient as low-E panes and help reduce noise levels. In some hurricane-prone areas, shatterproof glass is now required.
2. The R-value of replacement windows measures the resistance to heat flow. Homeowners will want to look for the highest number when it comes to the R-value because the higher the number, the more energy efficient the window.
3. The U-factor measures the rate of heat transfer from the inside of a house to the outside. Homeowners will want the lowest number possible for the U-factor because the lower the number, the more energy efficient the window.
4. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) rating displays how much heat a house gains from the sun. The lower the SHGC, the less heat will be gained. Homeowners will need to decide what options would be best for their climate.
5. Light colored shades can reduce the solar heat gained through a window by up to 43% and awnings can reduce this by as much as 77%. These options should be considered for any home, but especially those looking at picture window replacement as these larger options will have a greater impact on the energy efficiency of a home.