Chicago has extreme temperatures throughout the year. This requires you to warm your house during cold months and cool it down through the year’s hot seasons.
Everyone wants their home to be the most comfortable place. But to create this feeling, you need to invest in your home. Don’t let the word “invest” scare you; it doesn’t mean that you will lose money; in fact, it will help you save money.
It is almost impossible during the cold winter to not have your heat on all of the time. This will make your energy bills increase, which, according to The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the average American household spends up to $2,500 on energy bills. And it will increase even more if you don’t pay attention to the rest of your house, especially your windows.
According to The Department of Energy, your windows are responsible for 25-30% of heat loss or gain.
The best option to stop your utility bills from increasing each month is by reducing heat loss through the use of energy-efficient windows in your home. By making this home improvement, your energy costs can even be reduced.
What does Energy Efficient mean to you?
The energy efficiency feature describes a product’s ability to provide the same service using less energy than a similar, non-efficient product.
Energy-efficient windows are better at maintaining the temperature inside your home regardless of whether you are in the middle of an arctic freeze or a record heatwave. This helps you avoid higher utility bills since you won’t need to run your heater or air conditioner as often as if you had non-efficient windows.
For a window to be energy-efficient, it needs to have:
- Multiple window glass panes (double-pane or triple-paned glass windows)
- High-quality frames
- Low-e glass coatings
- Be argon or krypton gas filled (between panes)
- Have window pane spacers installed
The two programs/agencies in the United States that test and rate windows on their energy performance levels are Energy Star and the NFRC. When buying new windows, look for the Energy Star label or the one of the NFRC.
Most of us have heard of Energy Star, even if we don’t know what an Energy Star rating means. The Energy Star program is a joint venture between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Energy.
Appliances, insulation, windows, lighting, electronics, and heating/cooling products are all tested, and their efficiencies compared to a baseline value. Products that meet a certain threshold are given the Energy Star label of approval.
The NFRC is an independent nonprofit organization created by industry leaders. Its purpose is to provide consumers with an objective analysis of the energy performance of a particular window, door, or skylight.
How is energy efficiency quantified?
Energy Star keeps its rating pretty simplified. For a product to be Energy Star approved, it must meet the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient standards. Each Energy Star sticker also indicates which of the 4 U.S. climate zones the product is rated for.
The NFRC bases its rating on the two factors considered by Energy Star and an additional three metrics. This means that a window approved by the NFRC will also meet Energy Star standards, but not all Energy Star windows will also be NFRC certified. The five factors that the NFRC tests and rates are: U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, Air Leakage, Visible Transmittance, and Condensation Resistance.
The Best Replacement Windows and Doors at the Best Price
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Why should you replace old windows?
You may do some upgrades to the windows you have, but the time will come when upgrading them won’t be enough, and you will need to replace them. You don’t need to wait until they have degraded to that point to replace them.
The two main reasons why you should replace the old windows of your home are:
Federal Tax Credits
The energy-saving benefits of new windows are so beneficial that, in some cases, the federal government will offer tax credits to homeowners who replace their windows.
Improve the Value of Your Home
Installing new windows can certainly help lower your home’s energy bills, but that’s not the only way that new windows benefit you.
Replacing the windows in your home with new windows can also add significant value to your home’s resale price. Homeowners can expect to recoup a significant portion of the investment they make in new windows when they sell their home.
Buyers are often enticed by the prospect of not needing to plan for future repairs or replacements when they buy a home.
How much do energy-efficient windows cost?
In general, energy-efficient windows tend to cost a bit more initially than less energy-efficient windows.
The trade-off is that over the window’s lifetime, energy-efficient windows will help decrease the amount due to your energy bills. In contrast, non-efficient windows will lead to higher heating and cooling costs.
According to Nearby Engineers, the cost of energy-efficient windows may vary due to the type of window. The price of energy-efficient windows is between $300-$4,000. The range is incredibly wide because you can install from a double-hung window up to a bay window with energy-efficient features.
The money you invest in energy-efficient windows will not only save you money each year, but it will also increase your home’s value. The Department of Energy states that you could save up to $465 a year by replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones.
Investing in your home could bring you tremendous benefits and also save you money. Energy-efficient windows should be at the top of your list when planning to build a new room or replacing your existing windows.
The incredible amount of benefits these windows give you and your family go from lowering your utility bills to increasing your home’s value, reducing noise pollution, and reducing sun damage to your furniture. Upgrading your house and making it into a more comfortable place is what everyone wishes to do. Leverage the latest in window technology by replacing your standard windows with energy-efficient windows, and transform your house into a more comfortable home.