A guide to reducing home energy costs
and increasing comfort.
Improvements   >   High-Performance Windows
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You may also want to check for "easy cleaning" features on certain Low-E dual pane window products.

High-Performance Windows
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Once your home has been insulated and weatherized, you may now want to move forward to the next important project: performance windows and sliding glass doors. In older California tract homes, unattractive aluminum framed single-pane windows were originally installed by most builders. These low-cost windows are inefficient, leaky, and difficult to operate.

Low Emission (Low-E) dualpane windows and sliding glass doors are a long-term investment that provide the final link to attaining a thermal efficient home. Performance windows products save you money by lowering utility costs while increasing comfort all year long. Like several other thermal performance improvements, performance windows reduce heat gain and glare in the summer and heat loss in the winter; in some applications, reductions are as much as 25%. Performance windows and sliding glass doors also provide a sound barrier that substantially reduces outside noise levels. Finally, a window investment will add style, beauty and curb-appeal to your home.

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep...

Replacement windows don’t just change the way your home looks, they change the way it performs. When purchasing your new energy windows, remember not all window products are created equal. Due to a substantial increase in demand and competition, new and improved window technologies are flooding the market. As a wise consumer, a little investigation may help eliminate confusion.

The following features and factors are important for energy windows:

  • Low-E (Low Emission) dual pane window rating
  • U-Value (Ultra Violet) sunlight rating
  • Window air-leakage rating

In all of the above, the lower the rating, the better the insulation value. Argon gas is an addition which adds high density and increased sound control. This product is a little more expensive and is popular in colder climates.

Hardware and Warranty Considerations

Hardware and warranty issues are just as important as window performance features:

  • Durable frames, for appearance, strength, and longevity;
  • Dual-pull rails, enabling windows to open and close effortlessly;
  • Strong locking systems, providing safety and security;
  • Manufacturer warranties, to be sure your warranty will protect you as long as you plan on owning your home. Find out if faulty windows are replaced or mearly repaired.

 

Consumer Alert

Though there are several benefits, dual-pane windows and sliders are often one of the most overrated improvements when it comes to savings and thermal performanceAttic and wall insulation should always be prioritized above windows, especially with older homes.

 


Efficiency and beauty


 



Look for the "Energy Star" label




Secured locking system


Durable frames for strength and longevity

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