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A Beginner’s Guide to Energy Efficient Windows – Part 3: Other Energy-Efficient Features For Windows

While the glazing is largely responsible for how energy efficient a window is, it is not the only component in a window that can help you improve energy efficiency in your home. Other window parts that can contribute include:

  • Windows today can use different kinds of frame materials, each one offering varying abilities to impart energy efficiency. Your best bet is to look for a material with the highest level of insulative properties. Wood is a great option but it requires a lot of maintenance, so it is not a practical choice for many homeowners. Vinyl offers respectable insulation and is easy to maintain. Composite, on the other hand, is more durable and performs better than vinyl but is just as easy to maintain and can be made to look like wood.
  • Foam Insulation. Foam insulation is found inside frames, tasked with further inhibiting the transfer of heat from one side of the frame to the other. A frame’s material on its own can keep heat from going through a window and foam insulation complements this function to offer better thermal performance. Foam is lightweight though so it will not hamper window installation or operation.
  • Special Coatings and Films. These two are similar in that they improve window function when added to glazing. Depending on the coating or film used, it’s possible to boost thermal performance for a window, reduce the amount of heat being let in by a window or maximize visible transmittance. Low-emissivity coating, for instance, can drastically reduce heat that comes in through a window alongside sunlight without affecting the level of natural light being let in. Tinted films, on the other hand, can also significantly cut back on heat that enters a home but can block up to 90% of natural light as well, depending on the tinted film used, which may affect daylighting efforts.

Interested in what these window features can do for you and your home? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local contractor to get you started. The sooner you find the right window for you, the sooner you can take advantage of improved energy efficiency in your home.

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Gayle Lobdell
Apr 23, 2019

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