For many people, window replacement in Michigan is about benefiting from the new line of energy-efficient windows. After all, companies often claim that these windows pay for themselves in a few years’ time by slashing energy bills by 30% or more.
However, taking advantage of the benefits of replacement windows is not as simple as purchasing and installing new windows. According to the US Department of Energy, there are a few things to consider when choosing replacement windows:
“Before selecting new windows for your home, determine what types of windows will work best and where to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It’s a good idea to understand the energy performance ratings of windows so you’ll know what energy performance ratings you need for your windows based on your climate and the home’s design
For labeling energy-efficient windows, ENERGY STAR® has established minimum energy performance rating criteria by climate. However, these criteria don’t account for a home’s design, such as window orientation”
What the Department of Energy is referencing are the R-value and the U-factor of new windows. In simple terms, the R-value displays a window’s ability to resist heat traveling through it; the higher R-value, the better. The U-factor reflects a window’s ability to retain interior heat; the lower the U-factor, the better.
Choosing the efficiency level of your new windows is entirely up to you. However, you may want to keep the following tip from the Department of Energy in mind:
“To be effective, south-facing windows should have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of greater than 0.6 to maximize solar heat gain during the winter, a U-factor of 0.35 or less to reduce conductive heat transfer, and a high visible transmittance (VT) for good visible light transfer.”
The energy-efficiency can also be affected by the material used for the replacement window. Reputable window companies in Michigan offer a variety of materials for windows, but one of the more common materials offered is wood. In addition to superior insulation and noise-blocking ability, wood remains a popular material for windows because it adds a touch of classic elegance to a room.
If you are contemplating whether or not to get replacement windows, do not forget to consult a reputable window company like Kroll Construction. These seasoned professionals understand what Michigan residents want and need from their windows and act accordingly, resulting in long-term satisfaction.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Energy-Efficient Windows, US Department of Energy, June 18, 2012)