How Much Can You Save with Energy-Efficient Windows?

The U.S. Department of Energy says that Seattle, WA homeowners who install energy efficient windows save an average of 12 percent on utility costs. That translates to saving roughly $125 to $465 dollars per year by replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient dual-pane windows. Even if you already have dual-pane windows, you can still save up to $100 per year by replacing them with energy-efficient windows in Seattle, WA.

Just looking at cost, having an energy-efficient window installed can pay for itself within just a few years. And aside from the cash savings, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable home as well.

Features of energy-efficient windows

What makes a window energy efficient? Here are a few things that help keep the heat from escaping in cold weather:

  • Multiple panes: Energy-efficient windows have multiple panes to create extra layers of insulation. Dual-pane windows are the most common, but there are also triple-pane windows. These are made by stacking multiple glass layers together with spaces between them, which are typically filled with gas to aid in insulation.
  • Gas-filled windows: Filling the panes (dual or more) with gas like argon or krypton helps create insulation and keeps the heat in. These gases are non-toxic, colorless and odorless.
  • Window frame materials: Energy-efficient windows typically have composite, fiberglass, vinyl or wood frames to reduce heat transfer. Aluminum frames are generally the least efficient, because they conduct heat very well.
  • Low-e coating: Low-emissivity coating on a window’s glass can help keep heat inside. Also known as low-e coating, it’s designed to keep ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light from getting in to allow sunlight but block heat. In colder climates, it can be reversed to keep heat from leaving the house.
  • Spacers: Spacers between the panes of a window can help insulate the pane edges, which will reduce heat transfer and control temperature.

What does the Energy Star label mean?

One way to quickly tell if a window is energy efficient is to look for the Energy Star logo (a blue badge with the word “energy” in cursive script and a star). These are verified to use 20 to 30 percent less energy than competing products. For northern climates, these are designed to let infrared, heat-generating light inside to keep your home warm. As mentioned earlier, they are always dual or triple paned.

Energy Star windows all have a VT (visible transmittance) rating, stating how much light is allowed to pass through. For rooms you want to keep darker, look for a lower VT rating. For brighter spaces, like a living room, sunroom or kitchen, look for higher VT ratings to let in that natural light and avoid having to use more energy to light the room during the day.
There are federal tax credits you can apply for when having Energy Star windows installed. There may also be local or state tax credits available. Ask your window contractor for more information about your opportunities to save.

To check out a wide selection of energy-efficient windows in Seattle, WA visit Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. today.

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