How Much Can I Save on My Energy Bill by Replacing My Old Windows?
Old windows can have a significantly negative impact on your energy bills. Outdated single-pane windows have poor thermal performance, and worn window frames may sag or create gaps that lead to drafts. Replacing these windows with modern, double-pane or triple-pane windows can improve energy efficiency and possibly reduce your energy costs. The amount of savings you will see depends on the features you choose for your replacement windows and your location.
The material you choose for your replacement window frames is essential for your home’s energy efficiency. Vinyl is an incredibly energy-efficient material—it is water-resistant, resilient, and made from PVC. It is low-maintenance and insulates well on its own; however, it can also be filled with more insulation for even better thermal performance. Fiberglass is another good energy-efficient option that can be optimized with other features. When you customize your new windows, your dealer will help you decide which option is best for your aesthetic preferences and unique needs.
Features and Benefits
While upgrading the material of your old windows to a modern option, like vinyl, and making sure you close any drafts can improve energy efficiency on its own, you can also add extra features to your new windows to lower their U-factor. The U-factor of a window indicates how well it insulates and how good its energy efficiency may be. There are features you can add to lower the U-factor and make your windows as energy efficient as possible.
These energy-efficient features include:
- Extra window panes – Double-pane windows are a huge step up from the outdated single panes of the past. However, you can also add a third pane for even more energy efficiency and thermal performance.
- Argon gas – You may have the option to fill the gaps between the window panes with argon gas. Since argon gas moves slower than air, heat transfer is reduced, meaning your home’s interior temperature will stay stable.
- Low-E coatings – These are microscopic metal coatings that are applied to the surface of the glass during the manufacturing process. They reflect UV rays and sunlight to mitigate heat transfer, keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- Extra insulation – Of course, adding additional foam insulation to certain window frames may also be an option to make your windows perform even better.
Window Direction and Climate
Another consideration when calculating energy savings is your climate and the SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) rating of the windows (essentially, a rating that indicates how effectively the window prevents heat from entering the home).
Low SHGC Rating
Consider what direction the windows face in combination with your climate. For example, if you live in a dry, hot climate and the window you are replacing faces the sun the majority of the day, it probably lets a lot of heat in, making your house uncomfortably warm and raising your cooling costs. It’s important to make sure these windows have a low SHGC rating, which means they are better at keeping heat and radiation out to keep your home cool.
High SHGC Rating
In colder climates (and for windows that don’t receive a lot of sunlight), it would be better to have a window with a higher SHGC rating to capture the heat, especially during the winter months. This can keep the home warmer and possibly reduce heating costs.
The combination of window material, energy-efficient features, planning by window direction, and simply the climate you live in will factor into how much you may be able to save after replacing your old windows!
Reach Out Today
Sunrise Windows & Doors is here to help if you’d like to replace your old windows. Contact our team today—we will be more than happy to set you up with an appointment with an authorized dealer in your area.