Replacing old windows with Energy-efficient windows Birmingham AL can save your home money. These windows prevent conditioned air from escaping your home, saving you energy costs in the long run.
Look for ENERGY STAR and NFRC labeling on new windows to ensure they meet strict manufacturing specifications. The frame material will also affect the cost, with aluminum and fiberglass frames being less expensive than wood or vinyl.
Low-E glass is a special coating that dramatically increases the insulating properties of your windows. Its low emissivity minimizes heat transfer between the inside and outside of your home, which significantly reduces both heating and cooling costs throughout the year.
This is achieved by reducing visible light transmittance while still allowing in the sun’s natural light. It also helps to block UV rays that cause fabrics, leather, carpeting, artwork and paint to fade over time.
The energy-saving benefits of low-e glass are maximized when it is incorporated into sealed, insulated windows that are filled with inert argon gas and separated by a warm edge spacer. This combination of features provides a window that meets EPA Energy Star requirements for the climate zone in which you live. When you choose these windows, your heating and air conditioning systems have to work less hard to maintain the right temperature throughout the year, which extends their lifespan. This will save you money in both maintenance and replacement costs.
Argon gas is used in double and triple pane windows because it does not transfer heat as easily as air or oxygen. This means the window is a good insulator, helping to lower your energy bills.
Argon is a colorless, non-toxic, and odorless gas that occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It also doesn’t react with any other substances to form compounds. This makes it a highly valued industrial gas for its inertness at high temperatures, and it’s found in light bulbs, luxury car tires, SCUBA dry suits, and the manufacturing of impurity-free silicon crystals for the semi-conductor industry.
Homeowners can tell if their windows have argon inside them by looking for two small holes along the spacer material in the window frame. These are needed to pump argon in during production and allow air to escape as it comes in. If these holes become damaged, it’s possible that argon will leak out and the windows may not perform as well (1).
Foam insulation is ideal for filling the small gaps and cracks that cause energy bills to skyrocket. It also helps prevent outside noise and rodents. It can be installed as a blanket system of rolls or batts, or as spray foam insulation that expands on application.
Closed-cell spray foam is the most energy efficient insulation option. It has a high R-value per inch, and it provides a seal to stop air leakage and water leaks. It is also rigid and can resist mold and mildew. It is also the most expensive choice, but it will save you the most money on your energy bills in the long run.
Open-cell spray foam has a lower R-value per inch, but it does an excellent job of filling the small cracks and crevices that are typical of older homes. This type of insulation can be applied as a blanket system of rolls or as spray foam insulation that expands on apply and creates a barrier to help stop air leakage and reduce drafts and energy costs.
Fiberglass frames have a lower thermal movement coefficient than aluminum and wood options, meaning they’re less likely to stress sealant joints or gaskets when expanding and contracting with changing temperatures. Combined with high-quality glass, fiberglass frames can reduce heating and cooling costs by helping keep cold out during the winter and warm air out during the summer.
Besides the frame material, low-emissivity coatings help prevent heat loss during the winter and block harmful UV rays during the summer. Multiple pane windows that use warm-edge spacers and argon gas fills between the panes further increase energy efficiency.
Energy ratings tell you how well a window protects against harmful solar rays, insulates, and controls airflow. Understand the seven major energy ratings to choose an energy-efficient replacement window for your Birmingham AL home.