From Brittany on August 30th, 2011 in Window Replacement
Only 20 years ago, the average home had windows constructed with a single pane of glass. Those same windows today would result in annual energy costs of about $800. Double-glazed windows in the same homes reduce those costs by 45%. The technologies and construction techniques used to manufacture windows have advanced a great deal in a short time, making window replacement one of the most effective ways to lower heating and cooling costs.
The Perks of Double Hung Windows
One of the most popular window types is double hung windows. With double hung windows, both sashes can be moved up and down. While you may keep windows closed during the extreme heat of summer or harsh winter climate, being able to open either the top or bottom pane of a window during mild weather allows you to control air circulation and ventilation within your home.
With their classic lines, double hung windows are especially suited to traditional or colonial style homes. The double hung style is available with plain sashes or with grids that divide them. Many modern double hung windows include a tilt feature, allowing the sashes to tilt forward for easy cleaning. When purchasing double hung windows, it is important to look for quality materials and smooth operation. For optimum savings, ensure that they are the best energy-efficient windows in their category.
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Energy-efficient windows are awarded with the Energy Star label. To earn the Energy Star label, a window must be 15% to 40% more efficient than those that simply meet typical building codes. Modern windows achieve energy efficiency through double glazing and low emissivity (Low-E) coatings.
Low-E coatings consist of a very thin metallic film that acts like a mirror, reflecting heat back into your home during winter, and deflecting heat outwards during summer. Windows with the best energy efficiency also use inactive gases, like argon gas, instead of plain air between the double panes. Since they are denser than air, inert gases provide better insulation.
Among the most energy efficient frames are vinyl windows, as they incorporate a honeycomb of insulation-boosting chambers within their double panes of glass. Energy efficient windows not only provide another layer of insulation to the home, they cut air infiltration down to virtually nothing. Vinyl-framed windows, which are the most affordable window option, require almost zero maintenance.
In addition to dramatically cutting heating and cooling costs, installing modern, energy-efficient windows is one of the best ways to raise the value of your home. This is particularly important in today’s sluggish housing market, when sellers are looking for any advantage that gives them a competitive edge. You can expect to recoup about 70% of your window replacement investment when you sell your home. If you’re planning to stay in your home, the investment you make into purchasing energy efficient windows will be returned through savings in heating and cooling costs – and will make your home more comfortable and more attractive.
Photos via Houzz