There are certain places in a home where heat or cool air leaks. This may be a fireplace or in the siding of the house, but often the doors and windows are the biggest culprits. Getting windows and doors that are energy efficient can first and foremost help to reduce utility bills. Of course, it will also make your home more comfortable-it will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Being energy efficient can even help to minimize the impact that we have on the environment. All of these reasons alone are enough to look into the possibility of doors and windows which are less thermally conductive. Regardless of the climate you may live in there are windows and doors which can give you energy cost savings over a long-term period of time. Their performance is the determining factor in how well they can keep heat from escaping. Not all energy efficient doors and windows are created equally.
There are special ratings that have been administered by Energy Star and the National Fenestration Rating Council. These performance ratings will let you know how efficient a window or door is at retaining energy. Look for terms like Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and U-factor. These terms measure and indicate how effective a product is when it comes to blocking and insulating heat. Once you understand this much you can start on your quest to find the right energy efficient windows and doors.
The U-factor is in reference to how well a window is capable of retaining heat in a building. It measures total heat flow leaving your home through a door or window outside. The lower the number, the better the product and the more equipped it is at keeping heat in. For anyone living in a colder climate this is a particularly important measurement. The Solar Heat Gain works the opposite of the U-factor. This measurement deals with how much heat comes into your home. This is probably more important to people in warmer climates, and the lower the number, the less heat that gets inside. VT, or visible transmittance, is one final measurement to understand. This deals with the visible light which is able to come through a window. Higher VT is better to get the most daylight. Low E coatings work great because they don’t reduce the light that comes in yet they reject the gain of solar heat.
How well a window or door can keep out the heat, or keep it in, hinges on a few key things including the materials, number of glass panes, the presence or absence of gas in the windows, and spacers. Wooden and aluminum windows or doors are not very energy efficient, though they can be strong or decorative. uPVC windows and doors work best when it comes to energy efficiency. Windows that are double or triple glazed will insulate better, because it provides a thicker barrier between the warm air inside and cold air outside-or vice versa. Getting argon, krypton, or some other gas filled between the panes will also keep windows more insulated than ordinary air. Spacers are made to keep the panes in a window correctly distanced from each other which is another important factor.