Our furnaces and heating systems work hard to heat the air on the interior of our homes and businesses. Unfortunately, this also means high winter heating costs. You know that even if the rest of the room feels warm, sitting by a window can be chilly. The key to controlling heat loss through your windows is choosing the right type of window in the first place.
Single Pane with an Aluminum Frame
Single-pane windows with an aluminum frame and clear glass are the worst when it comes to heating properties. Getting them with tinted glass improves their heat retention properties by about 26%.
Double Pane Windows
Double pane windows are the best for preventing heat loss and might even add a little heat. The gas between the panes acts as an insulator and traps heat from the sun. Either a wood or vinyl frame makes little difference in this case. You can get a low -e coating that offers a slight improvement over standard double pane glass. Double pane windows can reduce heating bills by as much as 31% over single pane ones.
Glazing Matters in Heat Loss
The type of window glazing also makes a difference in heat loss properties. Heat loss is measured by the U-factor, which is how well the material prevents heat from escaping. These ratings are based on an outdoor temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The U-factor ranges from 0.20 to 1.20 and will usually be listed on the window, with a lower number representing less heat lost through the window.
Single glazed windows have a U-factor of 0.91-1.11, which means heat escapes quickly and drives up heat costs significantly. Double glazing has a U-factor of about 0.43-0.57. When you move up to triple glazed windows, the U-factor drops to between 0.15 and 0.33, which makes a big difference over time.
Choosing the Best Windows for Winter Heating
Budget is always a consideration when you are thinking about replacing your windows. You might be tempted to choose the cheapest option, but this can end up costing you when it comes to winter heating bills. The best piece of advice is to consult your window installer and ask about the heating properties of the window choices that are offered. Choosing a window with the best heat loss properties can mean big savings in your winter heating bills over time.