The Truth About Windows



I can't tell you the amount of times I've met with homeowners only to hear that that they had replaced all their home windows with energy efficient windows and they just couldn't understand why they were unable saving any money. The particular truth is, every windows manufacturer wants you to definitely assume that putting more cost effective house windows at home is going to help you save tons of money. Well it's not! You are able to argue with me all you want, but if you act like you have ever heard Charlie Side speak about single pane windows you would know that you aren't getting all the information you need to make an educated decision on upgrading the windows at home. So let's talk slightly about why upgrading the windows at home is one of the last things in the set of energy improvement recommendations.


First things first, they are expensive. Rarely does a windowpane replacement pay for itself before the end of the useful life of the window, which is often 20-25 years! If you haven't read my previous blog post about R-value I suggest you do that now before you continue with this article.


Windows are just one part of a system that we call the "envelope" of your home. The envelope involves walls, windows, doors, roof, and some type of flooring when it comes to dirt, cement, rock, fenster kaufen or other basis material. According to the US Department of Energy, 14% of energy is going through the envelop of properties.


Like every architect, I know the value of a well-placed window that provides scale, dimension, light, and style to a building. All people crave light, and want to manage to see out from their homes. But replacing the double pane windows you have at home isn't going in order to save you the most money, even if they were installed more then 20 year ago. The hardest thing about energy advancements is that the products that makes the biggest difference is always the stuff you can't see.


There are two sorts of heat loss. Air transported heat loss (how drafty your house is) and surface transported heat loss (how well insulated your house is). Windows actually fall into both categories. Homeowners often tell myself they want to replace their windows because they are drafty or old. Well it might not be the window itself that is drafty, but the way it is installed. The biggest difference most householders see with a windows replacement is in the installation. Contractors are now caulking around the home windows, reducing airflow, and making a much tighter building envelope. We no longer products fiberglass around the shims in windows because we know it just filtration systems the air coming in, it doesn't stop it. Old single pane home windows with counter weights are just large open programs for exterior air to enter the home. Therefore if you have house windows with counter weights it can in your best interest to replace them. If the window has unsuccessful and has condensation inside, it's best to replace it. But if you have double hung house windows, in decent shape, updating to newer windows should be the last object on your set of home improvements.


The standard double pane window has an R-value of 2. Some of the best, readily available, windows on the market have an R-value of 5. This is excluding windows specifically made for passive house applications, which will surely have higher R-values, but also have much higher price tags. Windows are typically listed in U-value. U-value is the inverse of R-value and for the purpose of the example below we are going to use Maine. Maine is situated in Zone 6, in the current 2009 Energy Code, followed most places. The current requirement for new building windows is U-0. thirty five or R- 2. 9, hardly higher then the R-2 windows you at present have at home, because they just don't make a glass you can see out of that has high insulating properties... yet.