A lot of people aren’t aware of the troubling fact that heat loss or gain resulting from inefficient windows accounts for about 25-30% of heating and cooling energy use. It doesn’t matter who you are: that’s pretty substantial.
The good news is that technology has moved forward in a way that can make this tremendous waste of energy a thing of the past. Investing in green energy windows is a great way to offset the burden of wasteful windows and do your part to help the environment at the same time.
Green energy windows are ostensibly what their name suggests they would be: a modern twist on the typical window that optimizes materials to ensure that your home naturally stays warmer in winter, and cooler during the summer.
These products are really nothing new: windows with a tenacity for energy retention have been around since the early 80s when manufacturers realized that windows with vinyl compound frames would reduce the levels of heat transferred. Since then, of course, the technology has really taken off and indeed continues to get better.
The green energy window falls into the same category as a solar panel in that it is a piece of renewable energy technology. However, the actual way in which they do their job of lowering your bills and protecting the environment is quite different.
While the solar panel mounts to a surface on or near your home to collect energy and offset the cost of your power bills, the green energy window is going to look and function the way any other window would.
It isn’t collecting or storing energy: it’s simply helping you to make the most of the energy that you’ve already got.
While this product may sound new to you, it is actually quite established, and there are many brands currently manufacturing quality products. Jeld-Wen and Pella Vinyl are two of many companies that are in the business of making these types of windows.
There are plenty of options out there, and you can decide for yourself which is right for your needs by studying their Energy Star and NFRC labels.
No one likes extensive home construction but the process of having green energy windows installed really isn’t too bad.
One of the first things to keep in mind before you begin the process of selecting a contractor is that in order for these windows to work to the fullness of their capabilities they are going to need to be installed by a knowledgeable professional.
Choose an installation company with experience in energy efficient windows for your San Diego construction job.
One thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to windows there are too many variables to identify the exact specifics of the installation process. As you probably know all windows and homes for that matter, are different. Variables include but are not limited to the materials of the window frame, the style of the window, the location of the window, and even the materials of your house.
However, there are a few things that you can count on. The company that you hire should come by your home prior to the job to check for any unexpected variables. Then, on the day of the actual job, they will begin by removing and properly disposing of all existing materials of your previous window.
Once that has been accomplished they will replace the windows with the green energy window of your choosing, using the sealing guidelines of the manufacturer to ensure that the job is completed the right way.
How long the job takes and how much money it costs will, of course, depend on the specifics of your project.
Now that you know what they are, here are some green energy window benefits that you should be aware of.
1. Less Cost
Naturally, replacing your windows is not going to be cheap so you are definitely going to want to see a return on that investment, right?
Well, the good news is that saving money is one of the chief promises of switching to green energy windows. Whether you care about the environment or not, that 25-30% of energy wasted is coming directly out of your pocket.
How much money you wind up saving is ultimately going to depend largely on how efficient your windows were to begin with. However, most homes that switch save between $100-450 annually on their power bills.
Considering how long a new set of windows should last you are sure to more than make up your money over time.
2. Less Energy Use
Using less energy isn’t just good for your monthly bills, it’s also good for your home appliances. Wasted energy creates unnecessary wear and tear on your furnace and air conditioner that ultimately shortens their life spans.
Now, even the best windows won’t make your furnace or AC live forever, but nevertheless, the equation is still pretty simple: the more energy efficient your windows are, the less you need to run your heating and cooling systems. The less you run your heating and cooling systems the longer they will last.
If you like the idea of saving a few dollars on your power bill each month, you should love the idea of extending the life of your AC and furnace.
3. Good For the Environment
That’s right! Have a heart, and do your part, type of thing. Naturally, using less energy is going to be good for the environment.
Preserving the environment is important, and while we don’t all have time to volunteer to clean up beaches, or pick for recyclables on the side of the road, there are things we can do (like invest in green energy windows) that will help mother nature without requiring any time from us.
In short, if you care about doing your part for the environment then energy efficient windows should be a no brainer.
4. You’ll Be More Comfortable
Isn’t it nice when the right thing to do is also the comfortable thing to do? Green energy windows are more comfortable than their single pane (or even double pane) counterparts simply for the fact that they maintain a nice steady temperature in your home.
If you have ever spent a lot of time near a not so energy efficient window before, you are probably well-aware of the fact that it can heat up very quickly when the sun is on it or become very cool when a breeze rolls by.
With a green energy window, you will feel only the temperature of the room.
5. It’s Also Good For Your Stuff
Have you ever noticed how pictures, books wallpaper, or even furniture will fade in color over time if they are placed in a location that receives a lot of direct exposure to sunlight?
This is because some of the suns harsher rays aren’t getting filtered out the way that you would want them to.
This isn’t a concern in homes that have the benefit of green energy windows. The same way your new windows will keep warm or cool air in your home, they will also keep out, or at least lower the intensity of high radiation waves so you can keep your stuff looking nicer for longer.
In fact, green energy windows can keep up to 98% more harmful UV rays out than traditional windows, which will certainly make a big difference to the state of your things over time.
Is this a reason to go out and buy green energy windows? Probably not, but it is a nice fringe benefit.
6. Noise Reduction
Energy efficient windows are also good for keeping sound waves out. If you have ever had a neighbor with yappy dogs or just a tendency to start mowing the lawn at ungodly hours then you are undoubtedly already well aware of the benefit of this.
This is another one of those fringe benefits that we talked about in the last section, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something that you won’t love to have. The same sealing process that makes these windows energy efficient also limit the extent to which loud noises are able to enter your home.
7. Lower Maintenance
Last, but definitely not least, energy efficient windows also require less maintenance than their counterparts. Why? It’s mostly a matter of condensation. While the design typical of most traditional windows yields lots of condensation (mostly because of the high levels of energy transfer) this is not a prevalent concern with the green energy window.
A little bit of condensation may not sound like that big of a deal, but it can have troubling results. For one thing, condensation builds up often correlates with an increased risk of mold and Fungai, which is bad for everyone, but especially bad for people with asthma or allergies.
The lack of condensation also means a lack of water spots and dirt build up, which are the two things you are generally trying to rub out when you clean your windows for the spring.
You’ve got to love a window that simply doesn’t get very dirty.
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