Valuable Consumer Information about Windows

From on July 09, 2007 in Window Replacement

A recent interview with Research Associate Nils Petermann at the Alliance to Save Energy in Washington, DC yielded important information that we at CalFinder want to pass onto you. Funded by the Department of Energy and advised by window manufacturers and other industry members, the Efficient Windows Collaborative, a project by the Alliance to Save Energy, provides a wealth of information geared to assisting the consumer with making the right energy-saving decisions when seeking to purchase new or replacement windows. According to their Web site, “The Alliance to Save Energy promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security. Energy efficiency is the quickest, cheapest, cleanest way to extend our world’s energy supplies.” What is particularly striking about the Alliance to Save Energy is the breadth and scope of their activities. They have all sorts of fascinating energy conservation projects going on, many of them international. Mr. Petermann’s most powerful message relative to window replacement is about Energy Star Windows. According to their Web site, “the right window can offer much more than a great view. If only ten southern U.S. states installed energy-efficient windows in all new buildings over the next twenty years, the resultant energy savings could prevent the emissions of 1.5 million tons of carbon. For some homeowners, upgrading to energy-efficient windows could cut annual energy costs by more than $500, yet, according to recent estimates, only 35 percent of U.S. homes currently use ENERGY STAR windows. To help increase the use of energy-efficient windows, the Alliance to Save Energy established the Efficient Windows Collaborative to promote energy performance rating and labeling among manufacturers. The Collaborative also educates builders, homeowners, and other consumers about the benefits of energy-efficient windows.” The Efficient Windows site is a goldmine of information about the benefits derived from new windows, including energy and cost savings, improved comfort, less condensation, increased light and view, reduced fading of fabrics and other finishes inside the home, and lower HVAC costs. The site also features sections about the latest window technologies and a windows selection tool that compares the cost of energy for each type of available window replacement. Mr. Petermann also suggested directing consumers to the Efficient Windows Web site’s explanations of NFRC and Energy Star®, the two designations for energy-efficient windows. While these issues aren’t as burning in California as in other locations throughout the country, certain microclimates that are hit with damp cold fog that would be more conducive to energy conservation include the City of San Francisco, towns in Southern Marin County, coastal towns north and south of San Francisco, and parts of the East Bay. And certainly, the heat experienced inland is considerable in the summertime. He also pointed out that in those areas of the country, where Energy Star® windows are already very common, financial incentives by local power companies can add urgency to improve the energy performance of windows even further. Many thanks to Mr. Nils Petermann! For more information, read our article about Energy Star Windows. [tags]Energy Star, windows, Alliance to Save Energy, Efficient Windows Collaborative[/tags]