Are your windows leaky? Is it hard to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home? Old, poorly installed, or poorly sealed windows may be the culprit. New glass-making and glass-coating technology have led to better insulated windows. These new windows can help save energy, but the biggest impact will be on comfort.
If your windows are feeling a little drafty, they may just need some maintenance. Missing or inadequate insulation around the window units can be solved with caulking or weatherstripping.
If you’re in the market for new windows, make sure you are getting the most energy efficient models. We’ve broken down the window components and jargon to make shopping easier:
- U-factor: measures how well a window prevents heat from inside a room from escaping. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the window.
- Solar heat gain coefficient (SGHC): measures how much solar radiation a window allows through it
- Gas fills: energy efficient windows often have argon or krypton gas to help lower the U-factor (make the window more efficient)
- Insulated windows: these windows allow air between the panes to lower the U-factor and the SHGC (making the window more efficient). Double-glazed, triple-glazed, or storm windows are all examples of insulated windows.
This information and more is listed on the window labels, certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).
HOW TO PAY FOR YOUR PROJECT
CORE Rebate: 25% of project costs up to $1,000
All new windows must have a U-factor of 0.28 or lower. It must be a comprehensive project — 100% of single pane wood or metal framed windows must be upgraded. Skylights and sliding glass doors are eligible, at a U-factor of 0.55 and 0.28, respectively.