materials matter

Energy Efficient Window Replacement

If you are remodeling your home, replacing old windows is a must! New windows can improve the appearance and safety of your home, but the biggest selling point for new windows is the energy efficiency they can provide you. When it comes to buying new windows, there are countless options for manufacturers, suppliers, and installation companies. So what should you look for?

Look Beyond Price

First, you should never base your decision on price alone. You want to pay for quality so replacing windows should not be cheap. The average window replacement including labor typically falls around $1,000 per window. This price can be higher or lowers depending on the brand, type of glass, and frame material. When you are comparing window prices, consider how much you will be saving every month in energy costs. That 20-30% loss of efficiency that your old windows are costing you can be remedied, lowering your annual energy costs by hundreds of dollars. Plus, if you are planning to sell your home anytime in the near future, you can expect to get a 70-85% return on your investment in windows.

Energy Efficient Window Replacement

Increasing Energy Efficiency 

Triple-pane glass will provide you with maximum efficiency. But even dual-pane glass will double the amount of insulation that cheap, single-pane windows provide. Still, your window panes aren’t the only factors that affect energy efficiency. Window placement, tint, frames, and insulation around the frames can also contribute to your home’s energy consumption. 

Placement & Tint

The sunlight that windows let in be used to your advantage to help heat your home in the winter, but in the summer natural light can make it difficult to keep your home cool. To avoid too much sunlight heating your home in the summer, it’s best to have most of your windows on the north side of your house. Windows on any other side of your home can be shaded with overhangs or trees. Heavy, light-colored drapes can be used to reflect the sunlight to keep your home cool in the summer. Another option is to invest in tinted windows. These not only help reflect the sun from heating your home in the summer, but they can also help retain heat in the winter. On top of lowering your utility bills, tinted windows add more privacy and security to your home.

tinting windows for energy efficiency
multiple chambers of insulation inside window frame

Frames

  • The main benefit of aluminum windows is that they are extremely durable and hold up well against humidity, storms, and corrosion. Aluminum is also very flexible making it a great option for odd-shaped windows that require custom-made frames. However, aluminum window frames are the worst option for insulation. While they do have their benefits, they are rarely used here in Indiana as insulation is crucial for dealing with midwest weather. 
  • Vinyl windows are the most affordable option. They are typically built with multiple chambers, similar to the structure of cardboard. These chambers of air provide insulation that helps the energy efficiency of your home. While the low price point of vinyl frames has helped them gain popularity, many people don’t like the look of vinyl windows. Vinyl frames cannot be painted and come in limited colors. And while they are durable enough to last 20 years or more, the lifespan of vinyl does not compare to that of wood. 
  • The cost and benefits of fiberglass fall middle of the road between vinyl and wood. Fiberglass window frames have the same structure as vinyl frames, providing excellent insulation to boost energy efficiency. Both options are also very low-maintenance. However, fiberglass costs more than vinyl because it is more durable than vinyl but is still less expensive than wood. 
  • Wood windows have been around for hundreds of years and for good reason. For high energy efficiency, wood is great for insulating your home. In fact, wood-framed windows can provide 1,800 times more insulation than aluminum. Wood can also be stained or painted to any color you desire. And can give your home a timeless, classy look. The main disadvantage is that wood is significantly more expensive than aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass. Wood also requires maintenance every couple of years to keep it from weathering. But with the proper care, wood windows can last a lifetime.
  • Today’s top-of-the-line option is wood-clad. Wood-clad window frames offer all the same benefits as wood, without maintenance. Wood-clad windows consist of a wood framing with a protective covering that can be made of aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass. This allows homeowners to have high energy efficiency and customization options that wood offers while preventing the wood from warping, rotting, or corroding due to weather. As you’d expect, all of these benefits come at the highest cost for your window frames, but you’ll also save the most money on heating, cooling, and window maintenance costs. 
sanding / maintenance on wood window frames

Insulation

Fiberglass and spray foam are most commonly used for insulating around your windows to prevent drafts. Having the most energy-efficient windows for your budget means selecting the most panes and best frames that you can afford. Overall, 25% of your heating and cooling efficiency is lost through poor seals on your windows and doors. With the proper insulation, you can prevent air leaks that let out the comfortable air in your home and save hundreds of dollars every year on your utility costs. 

Call the Professionals

If you are remodeling your home or just need to update your windows, contact us at claytonhoover.com/remodeling! We work with local window manufacturers and suppliers to offer you the perfect windows for your home. We are here to help you find the best solutions to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Plus, we offer financing options to help you get started on your home improvements now.

Contact Clayton Hoover & Sons to schedule your free consultation, get an estimate, and meet our team of professionals.