“Windows offer a home natural light, ventilation, privacy, and even added curb appeal, but if they are old and outdated, it is likely that your windows are negatively impacting your home’s energy efficiency,” said Adam Glende, exterior product specialist with Callen Construction. “It’s important to consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows because they offer so many added benefits, from energy and cost savings, to protection of items inside your home, to less maintenance.”
One of the main reasons to replace existing windows with new, energy-efficient models involves better insulation. “Here in Wisconsin, we can experience blazing heat in the summer and bitter cold during the winter months. Not only can this be bothersome when you’re outside the home, but these drastic temperature changes can create hot and cold spots within a home, which is a recipe for an uncomfortable environment,” Adam said. “However, properly insulated windows form a barrier against hot and cold temperatures, reducing dependence on an air conditioner and furnace.”
A straightforward benefit of energy-efficient windows is their positive impact on the environment. “Energy star labeled windows lower a home’s overall energy use because they significantly reduce a HVAC unit’s workload,” he said. In other words, a home uses less power from fossil fuel sources such as coal and natural gas.
If a home uses less power, you can expect to see a drastic reduction in heating and cooling bills. “When windows are not properly sealed, air can easily escape, causing the air conditioner or furnace to work overtime in order to maintain an optimum temperature in the home,” Glende said. Moreover, energy-efficient windows can help minimize the peak heating and cooling loads, which, in turn, can help reduce the size of a HVAC unit.
The sun gives off ultraviolet rays, which are capable of fading floors, rugs, pictures, furniture, and more whenever sunlight shines through your windows. “However, energy-efficient windows are made with a special protective coating that blocks up to 98 percent of UV rays, so you won’t notice damage to the home or personal items,” said Adam.
An added benefit of energy-efficient windows is their ability to silence noise. Since they are so exceptional at sealing out the external environment, sounds produced by everything from traffic, trains, and sirens is significantly reduced. This is especially helpful for those that live in communities where the homes are built close together.
Since energy-efficient windows diminish the transfer of energy, the amount of condensation that forms on windows noticeably decreases, which lowers the risk of mold forming. The result is a more comfortable environment for those who suffer from allergies and/or asthma. “The UV-resistant coating also cuts down on maintenance in the spring and summer because it protects against stains caused by water and dirt.
“Replacing current windows with energy-efficient ones is far more than just another repair to cross off on a home improvement checklist,” he said. “Rather it is an upgrade that directly impacts the comfort and upkeep of the entire home, all while offering energy savings in the process.”