Winter is here, and your windows play a big part in keeping out the cold and keeping in the heat. If your windows are old, there is a good chance they may be drafty or energy inefficient, increasing your energy bills and making your home environment less than comfortable.
How Windows Can Keep Your Home Comfortable
Most people have heard of double and triple pane glazing for improving the energy efficiency of windows, and most building codes now require the use of this type of window in new construction.
Insulated windows use two or three panes of glass sandwiched together with a small space between the panes. The exact size of this space varies, and the larger it is, the more energy efficient the window is.
This air space acts as in insulating barrier, reducing the amount of heat transfer between the outside and inside environments. Double and triple pane insulated windows are effective for both keeping a home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Another method of improving the insulating capacity of windows is to coat the surface of the glass with a reflective substance. Low-emissivity glass, also known as Low-E glass, is one type of surface coating used for blocking infrared and ultraviolet light and making the window more energy efficient.
The type of material used for the frame of windows also adds to how well it insulates. Aluminum frame windows most readily transfer heat, although they can be built with thermal barriers to reduce this problem. Vinyl and wood frame windows are naturally better at blocking heat transfer.