Homes and commercial buildings are responsible for approximately 43% of all the energy usage in the USA according to a recent report by the Department of Energy. Although there are many ways to decrease energy use within a household, replacing standard windows with energy-efficient options can be particularly beneficial. Apart from cutting down on the energy bill, replacing just one single-pane window with an energy-efficient option can save up to 6,205 pounds of carbon dioxide per household in a single year. Before parting with any money, it is essential to understand what energy-efficient windows are and how they work, a bit better.
Not All Windows are Created Equal
There are several characteristics that contribute to the energy efficiency of a window. Typically, an energy-efficient window consists of two or three glass panes, good-quality window frames, and low-e glass coatings. Argon or krypton gas can also be used to fill the spaces between the panes. This gas layer in between the glass panes can reduce annual energy costs by between 20% and 30%. Argon is known for its insulation properties and can improve the thermal performance of a pane of glass considerably. Krypton is a far more expensive option and is predominantly utilized by top-tier manufacturers in triple-pane windows. When it comes to window frames, aluminum might be cheaper but it is also a good conductor of heat which decreases its energy efficiency. More energy-efficient options include wood, fiberglass, and vinyl.
Benefits of energy-efficient windows
An eco-friendly window replacement can turn out to be a very worthy investment for a homeowner. In addition to reducing energy costs, the indoor temperature can also be regulated without excessive use of the HVAC system. Energy-efficient windows are also known to block up to 98% of all UV rays. This is great news for individuals who are light-sensitive as well as furniture, wood, and cloth that can be damaged by the sun. Furthermore, energy-efficient windows can aid in noise reduction by soundproofing the home against various external noise sources such as traffic and construction sites. It can also reduce the amount of condensation in your home.
You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune
Although it isn’t possible to determine exactly what energy-efficient windows will cost until you request a formal quotation, there are various guidelines that will at least give you an idea of the expected price tag. On average, a single energy-efficient window will set you back anywhere between $300 and $1,000. Various factors impact the price, though, including the size of the window panes you require, the properties of the window, the frames, and even where you live. Regardless of how much you end up paying for your windows it is important to note that energy-efficient window replacements are considered one of the top five most profitable home improvements and can offer a return on investment of up to 95%.
Replacing existing windows with energy-efficient options can be very beneficial. Apart from resulting in a lower energy bill, it can also reduce the carbon footprint of a household which is of great benefit to the environment.