With springtime officially here, no homeowner should be overpaying on utility bills just to keep their house warm. Unfortunately, some will because they don’t understand the value of proper replacement windows. Windows degrade over time, and if you’re still relying on windows from the previous century, you’ll likely see that degradation reflected in your utility bills.
On the other hand, replacing your old windows with ENERGY STAR certified custom windows from a proper installation company will help you keep your home warmer during the winter and spring months and cooler during the summer, which will save you hundreds of dollars per year.
What is ENERGY STAR?
First, let’s begin by understanding what the ENERGY STAR certification means. Products manufactured and distributed with the ENERGY STAR label have gone through specialized testing to ensure that they provide energy-efficiency without compromising their integrity. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a set of guidelines that are routinely revised, which manufacturers must adhere to in order to qualify for the label. The specialized testing, however, is performed by an independent agency called the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).
The NFRC breaks down testing results into four categories. The U-Factor is a measurement of how well the product keeps the warm air inside, whereas the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how well the product can keep outside air from coming inside. The Visible Transmittance category gauges how effective the product is at allowing daylight to shine through, and the Air Leakage category gives an understanding of how much draft one will experience with the product.
Understanding these measurements is not enough because you also have to take into account the climate you live in. And, because the climate varies substantially throughout North America, selecting the right ENERGY STAR windows is a crucial choice.
Top Styles for 2020
Fortunately, there is no single style for ENERGY STAR replacement windows. Just as there is variety in standard window types, the same goes for energy-efficient ones. But those in the interior design world will tell you that 2020’s most popular window styles include sliders, transoms, and sidelights.
Sliders, or sliding windows, are exactly what the name implies. You have to slide them left or right to open, and they typically come in a rectangular shape with the width being greater than the height. Sliders can be used in any room of the home. However, you’ll often find sliders in kitchens, where ventilation is most commonly needed.
On the surface, transoms and sidelights may be considered solely decorative, but in actuality, they have a dual purpose. Transoms are those smaller windows placed above an entry door or seen above larger windows. Architects may even include these in spacious rooms with high walls. Ultimately, transoms are designed to allow for more natural light to fill the space. Though predominantly a type of fixed window, transoms are also installed in bathrooms and made to allow for ventilation.
Sidelights meanwhile are placed alongside an entry door. They are also now being designed to allow for ventilation. As with transoms, the objective is to provide a way for natural light to come in, and brighten the space. Finding an end-to-end replacement window installer that sells, manufactures, installs, and services their own line of products is the best way to ensure that the job gets done right.
There is no shortage of window styles to choose from. However, only ENERGY STAR replacement windows can guarantee that you are maximizing your home’s energy efficiency. So, this Spring, stay warm and keep costs down with ENERGY STAR replacement windows.