There are two simple keys to improving the energy efficiency of your home with replacement windows, first select the best replacement window within your budget and second, have them properly installed by a professional replacement window contractor. C & N Services specializes in replacement windows, siding and sun rooms.
The most common places where energy escapes are attic and flooring insulation, doors and windows, cracks along the floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplace, plumbing penetrations, fans and vents and electrical outlets. Windows and window openings are second only to attic and flooring insulation in importance in lowering energy use to save money.
As the homeowner, you will be concerned about the style and the technology used in the replacement window design so that your home is both more attractive, gains higher resale value and becomes more energy-efficient due to more effective insulation and heat absorption during the hot summers of North Central Texas and Texoma.
In our area, spectrally selective low-E coatings that let most visible light through but block the shorter wavelength infrared solar heat waves. Replacement windows with spectrally selective low-E coatings also block a considerable amount of the ultraviolet light that can fade fabrics and other interior finishes.
Another factor to consider when selecting your replacement windows is the insulating glass between the two panes of glass in the sealed glass insulating unit. Argon and Krypton gas fills have demonstrated measureable improvement in thermal performance. Argon is inexpensive, nontoxic, nonreactive, clear and odorless. Argon is 5.5 times denser than air and as a result it takes much longer to transfer heat or cold from the outside surface to the inside surface of the replacement window sealed glass insulating units. The optimal spacing for an argon-filled unit is about 1/2 inch or 11-13 mm. Krypton has better thermal performance but is more expensive to produce and is particularly useful for thinner spacing of 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch. Sometimes krypton and argon are mixed as a compromise between performance and cost. Both options also reduce the amount of sound transmitted giving you a quieter living environment.
Another factor to consider when selecting your replacement windows are the spacers. The layers of glazing in an insulated unit are held apart by spacers. In the 60′s and 70′s many windows had aluminum spacers because of the excellent structural properties. However, aluminum is very effective heat conductor and in Texoma, our primary concern are summer cooling costs and the need to reduce the transfer of heat into the home. One approach to reducing the conductive effect of aluminum is to replace it with a metal that is less conductive such as stainless steel. Another approach is to replace the metal with a more insulating design incorporating a spacer, sealer and desiccant (reduces condensation) in a thermoplastic compound blend of materials and incorporates a thin, fluted metal shim of aluminum or stainless steel. Even silicon foam spacer with a dessicant and high-strength adhesive at its edges to bond is available in some replacement windows or extruded vinyl or fiberglass. As new highly insulating multiple layer windows are developed so are improved edge spacers as an important element in energy-efficient replacement window design.
To provide the best service, C & N Services know which windows are best suited for North Texas and Texoma climates in order to provide for the most ambient indoor temperature. Choosing the right replacement windows is essential for this area and its extreme highs and extreme lows. Most replacement windows and skylights have labels that display energy ratings to help C & N Services contractors and homeowners choose energy-efficient products within their budget. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) operates a voluntary certification program that documents criteria corresponding to heat loss and gain methods such as U-Factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).
The U-factor measures the rate a window conducts non-solar heat flow for the entire unit including the frame and spacer materials. The lower the U-factor for the window unit the more energy efficient. Replacement window U-factors range from 0.15 for high-performance triple-pane units to 1.20 for older single pane units.
High solar heat gain coefficient means the window is more effective at collecting solar heat gain during the winter. Conversely, a window with low SHGC is more effective at reducing cooling loads during the summer by blocking heat gain from infrared and other solar energy waves. SHGC’s range between 0 and 1.
C & N Services can help you select replacement windows with the right technology for your budget and the classic or contemporary design elements to serve you and your family for many years in your home.