Not all windows are created equal. The materials and special insulating glass are fundamental to increasing energy efficiency, and there’s even a difference between window styles.
Starting with the right window material is the first step to increasing energy efficiency. Nature knew what it was doing, because wood is still one of the best insulators, keeping the heat and cold from passing through to the inside of your home easily.
Possibly the most perfect window material available is fiberglass, and more specifically a type called Ultrex. It was created by a company called Marvin Window and Doors, who’ve been in business over 100 years. They took their experience, thought up the dream material and then made windows with it. Marvin’s Integrity and Infinity windows, with their standard high efficiency glass, can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 30%.* Other benefits of Ultrex include extreme durability and strength, making them a brilliant investment.
High efficiency glass is an important factor, because it makes up the majority of the window’s surface. Because energy efficiency is more about cooling than heating in our warmer Georgia climate, two good options are Low E 2 and Low E 3 insulating glass. Made up of two panes of glass with a special coating in between that blocks the sun’s heat, Low E 3 blocks more than Low E 2. In addition, adding krypton or argon gas between the panes can further help in increasing energy efficiency.
And as for which window type is more efficient, casements and awnings, windows that swing open on hinges, form a tighter seal than a double hung. With double hungs, the sash must slide up and down, relying on weather stripping to ensure the window is sealed. However, even a well made double hung can be highly energy efficient, it you choose one that is well made.
* Estimated savings. Actual savings will vary by product type, location, method of installation, individual home characteristics, local climates and more.