Energy efficiency is a concept that revolves around using less energy to meet daily needs. As a homeowner, these needs lie around heating, lighting, and cooling. How can you achieve energy efficiency in your home? One of them is through your windows.
Here, the aim is to reduce heat loss and gain in your home. There are energy-efficient and eco-friendly windows you can adopt, and here’s a guide on installing them:
Understand Energy-Efficient Windows
According to a window contractor in Clifton, the first step to achieving energy efficiency through your windows is understanding the concept. There are various ways to do it, which is what you should learn.
One way is through glazing. A single-pane window won’t prevent heat gain or loss in your home. However, a double or triple-glazed window will. These two are what you should adopt for energy efficiency. A double-glazed window has two sheets of glass with space between them. The space is what prevents heat loss or gain and is filled with inert gases or air. On the other hand, a triple-glazed window has three sheets with gaps between each sheet (two).
The other way is through energy-efficiency rating. Regulating bodies in the field have introduced ratings that depict how energy-efficient a window is.Two ratings apply to windows: Building Fire Research Centre (BFRC) and U-value. BFRC focuses on general efficiency, and the ratings range from A to E. An A-rated window is considered highly efficient, and the rating goes down towards E. With the U-value, the focus is on the amount of heat that transmits through the window. Here, you’ll achieve energy efficiency with a window with a high BFRC rating and low U-value.
Lastly, your window frame’s material also determines its energy efficiency. Materials like wood and UPVC offer more insulation than steel. Therefore, adopt more insulating materials for your window frame.
All in all, learning about all this will help you in the buying process as you’ll know the right window to buy.
When buying your energy-efficient windows, it’s important that they fit in your window space. If you fail to do so, you might buy a window too small or too big, resulting in inefficiencies like heat loss. It defeats your purpose of achieving energy efficiency.
All you require to do is use a tape measure and record the measurements. It’d help to draw a sketch and it’ll better guide the vendor.
As you take the measurements, it’s important to know that different window types require different fittings. Some will require you to leave space from the wall. Alternatively, ask a carpenter or your window vendor to do the measurements as they’re better equipped to do this.
Buy The Right Windows
There are various factors to consider when looking to buy the right windows.
As previously stated, a window frame determines the insulation you’ll receive. Besides its material, it’s important to consider its color.
Different colors react differently when exposed to heat. It’s an aspect to consider when it comes to your window frames. Dark colors like black absorb heat while light colors reflect heat. Based on this, the best way to achieve energy efficiency is to ensure the color of your window frame is light.It could be white, cream, or light grey, among others. These won’t absorb heat into your home, reducing your use of the air conditioning (AC) unit.
As you put energy efficiency at the forefront of your buying process, you shouldn’t forego style. You want to achieve aesthetics and functionality.
You want to consider style in terms of the window’s opening mechanism. You’ll find sliding windows, top and bottom hung, and casement windows, among others. Here, the choice is entirely based on your preference. How do you want your windows to look when opened? It’s the question to ask in this case.
Purchase From A Reputable Vendor
Windows have energy ratings based on their performance. The regulating bodies have marked these windows to differentiate them from the non-energy efficient ones. Therefore, you’ll find markings on your windows depicting the U-value and BFRC rating.
Some vendors are dishonest and will lie about the energy efficiency of your windows. It’s likely the case if the ratings are on the packaging of the window panes, not the panes themselves. You might end up paying for energy efficiency, whereas what you have are normal. Besides not achieving your goal, you won’t get value for money since energy-efficient windows are more expensive than the normal ones.
However, a legitimate seller won’t lie to you and will take a step further to guide you through the buying process. You can find a legitimate seller by looking at their reputation online or seeking referrals from friends and family that have adopted energy-efficient and eco-friendly windows.
Install The Windows Correctly
Once you’ve purchased your eco-friendly windows, it’s time to install them. You might have gotten the right windows, but they won’t serve their purpose if you don’t install them correctly.
One way to ensure correct installation is by working with a professional and experienced window contractor. Such a contractor has skills and will install the windows from the point of know-how instead of trial and error. There’ll be no errors with the final product.
The other way is by weather-stripping your windows after installation. With windows, you’re likely to leave gaps at the edges, maybe due to the handy work you had to do to install the windows. Leaving these gaps unsealed will allow heat loss and gain in your home, defeating the energy-efficiency plan. Therefore, after installing your windows, seal the edges around your windows with silicone sealant. It’d help to apply a thick layer to reduce the possibility of wear and tear. Alternatively, you can weather-strip it with rubber or any other material.
Lastly, ensure you check the level of your windows. It shouldn’t be bent at any point. Remember, you bought a window based on your window’s measurements. Therefore, a slight deviation might cause air leaks that interfere with your home’s insulation. Use a spirit, laser, or optical level to ensure the window is straight with no bend.
Energy-efficient and eco-friendly windows are a concept you can achieve. The discussion above gives a guide on the process to ensure you do it right. It’s the only way to meet your needs. Therefore, consider implementing this guide.
Article Submitted By Community Writer