Windows can be one of your home’s most attractive features, providing views, daylighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. During the summer, sunny windows make your air conditioner work two to three times harder. If you live in the Sun Belt, look into new solar control spectrally selective windows, which can cut the cooling load by more than half.
If your home has single-pane windows, as almost half of U.S. homes do, consider replacing them. New double-pane windows with high-performance glass (e.g., low-e or spectrally selective) are available on the market. In colder climates, select windows that are gas filled with low- emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass to reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, select windows with spectrally selective coatings to reduce heat gain.
If you are building a new home, you can offset some of the cost of installing more efficient windows because doing so allows you to buy smaller, less expensive heating and cooling equipment. If you decide not to replace your windows, the simpler, less costly measures listed below can improve the performance of your windows.
New windows are long-term investments that have a large impact on your home’s energy system. Today, there are many new window technologies avail- able that are worth considering. Glazing materials now come with a variety of selective coatings and other features; frames are available in aluminum, wood, vinyl, fiber glass, or combinations of these materials. Each type of glazing material and frame has advantages and disadvantages.
For more information about windows, contact:
American Architectural Manufacturers
Association (AAMA), (847) 303-5664
ENERGYSTAR®, (888) STAR-YES (888-782-7937)
National Fenestration Rating Council
(NFRC), (301) 589-6372
National Wood Window and Door Association, (800) 223-2301
Owens Corning Customer Service Hotline,
(800) GET-PINK (800-438-7465)