Going Green With Home Windows | Energy Efficient Windows Save You Money
There is lots of talk these days about going green and how to best select eco-friendly products without breaking the bank. Well, if you are in the market to replace your current windows, then replacing them with "green windows"? is a great way to make your home more eco-friendly without it costing you a ton of extra money. Energy efficient windows will cost more up front than less efficient windows, but the savings you will recoup in energy costs over the life of the windows will more than make up for the extra up front cost. There are also added benefits to installing green windows in addition to the green it will save you in the future.
Replacing your current old and drafty windows with more energy efficient green windows is one of the best investments you can make in turning your home into a more energy efficient place. Windows are the largest culprit in energy loss in homes, accounting for as much as 25% of the heat lost during the winter months, and older models that allow a lot of solar energy into the home during the warm summer months make your air conditioning work overtime as well.
Replacing Your Old Windows With Energy Efficient Windows
Energy efficient windows can improve your home's energy efficiency drastically and can also add to the value of your home. They can also make your home more comfortable to live in, add to the health and air quality in your home and they look nice as well.
Of course, some homeowners are concerned that green windows will cost too much to install and will be above their budget. There are all levels of energy efficiency and with that all price tags as well, but even if you can incorporate some green features into your windows but not others, you will benefit more than if you don't select energy efficient windows at all. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the cost of installation for green windows is the same as for traditional windows, so the only added cost you will incur is in the cost of the windows themselves and not any additional installation costs. Since installation costs typically run about half of the finished cost of installing windows, the difference in selecting green windows will not be as drastic as you may have thought.
When you factor in how much you will be saving on energy costs by replacing green windows, you will soon see how quickly they will pay for themselves. Energy efficient windows can save a typical homeowner as much as 30 percent or more on their energy bills. In addition to decreased heating and cooling costs, homeowners can consider some other green design elements in their home when replacing windows which can reduce the need for electricity by providing natural light and can harness the benefits of passive solar heating and thermal mass.
What To Consider When Selecting Energy Saving Windows
Here are a few factors to consider when selecting green windows to replace your home's existing windows:
Number of Window Panes Going from a single pane window to a double pane window can reduce your heating bills by as much as 15 percent. Over the life of the window, that can add up to almost $2,000, which is more than the added cost of the window in the first place. Selecting triple paned windows or super windows, or adding gas fill between the panes, can increase efficiency even more, but there may be a tradeoff between how much more efficient they are in comparison to the extra cost. This is a place where you can compromise if budget is an issue, as long as you at least go with a double paned window.
Window Frames Some frames are more energy efficient than others. Stick with wood, fiberglass or vinyl window frames over aluminum or steel frames. If available, you may even be able to choose insulated frames which will add to the efficiency of the window.
Coatings Low-e coatings can make a significant difference in the energy efficiency of a window. Low-e coatings prevent heat from entering your home through the window in the heat of the summer and reduce the amount of heat lost during the colder winter months. There are different types of low-e coatings that are appropriate depending on the climate in which you live, but having the right coating on your windows will keep your home more comfortable all year round and the cost of adding the coating will typically pay for itself in reduced energy bills within a few years.
There are other ways as well to make your windows more energy efficient. Consider the types of window coverings you place over your windows and the landscaping outside your home. Exterior blinds and window awnings can limit the amount of sun, and therefore the heat that enters your home during the summer. Planting trees outside of your window will also make your home more energy efficient by reducing the wind and sun that hits your windows. Interior insulated window shades are a great way to keep the heat in your home during the winter and will help to reduce the amount of heat loss that occurs through your windows.
Another aspect that makes windows green is how much they reduce your reliance on electricity because they reduce your need to turn on the lights. If the design of your windows is optimized to absorb natural light within your home, you can keep your lights off as much as possible, thus reducing your electric bills.
The true value of green windows cannot be simply measured by the cost of the windows or the reduction in your utility bills. In addition to any financial impact, green windows can also make your home more comfortable and healthier and can require less maintenance. The value of green windows far surpasses what you see in your checkbook.