The increasing interest in achieving energy efficiency is mainly fueled by two things: a better awareness of the environmental impact of energy use and the need to save on costs as electric bills rise. A number of factors determine how energy-efficient a home can be, but faulty windows have been shown to decrease energy efficiency by facilitating heat transfer and air leakage. Improving energy efficiency then can be partly achieved by ensuring windows are in great shape. In addition to having windows in good working condition, having windows made of the right material may have a bigger effect on your efforts to achieve energy efficiency.
Here’s a quick overview of different window materials and how they can contribute to your home’s energy efficiency.
- Metal. Metal-framed windows are usually made of aluminum or steel alloy. Metal is a poor insulator, but metal frames with an insulated thermal break can slow the transfer of heat.
- Wood. Wood frames, on the other h and, are an excellent insulator, making them ideal for use in areas with cold climates. By offering reliable insulation, wood eases strain on HVAC systems by helping to maintain indoor temperature.
- Vinyl. One of the things that makes vinyl a favorite among homeowners is that it is very easy to maintain. A vinyl window also offers great thermal insulation, helping prevent outdoor heat from getting in and indoor heat from getting out.
- Composite. Windows with composite frames combine the best that wood and vinyl has to offer, resulting in maintenance ease and superb insulation that blocks thermal transfer hundreds of times better than metal .
Aside from materials, what else can make a window energy-efficient? In Part 2, we’ll be discussing how window styles can also have a h and in improving energy efficiency in your home.