Types of Energy-Efficient Windows & Placements
Do you enjoy sitting by the windows in your home, taking in the views and basking in natural light? Or do you find yourself shutting the blinds and shying away from your home windows and the uncomfortable temperatures around them? If the latter scenario sounds more familiar to you, odds are you could benefit from having energy-efficient replacement windows installed in your home. But how can you tell which home windows will offer the most benefit, or even where you should place them in order to create a more comfortable environment? Well, you can always start with this handy guide!
The Most Energy-Efficient Home Window Styles
Oftentimes, purchasing replacement windows means that you have the ability to pick styles that you like for your home. And did you know that the style of a window can impact its energy efficiency? It’s true—the way that certain home windows operate (or don’t operate, as the case may be) will impact the amount of insulation they provide as well as their susceptibility to uncomfortable leaks and drafts. Not only does this affect your comfort levels indoors, but it may also have a tangible effect on your monthly heating or cooling bills.
The most energy-efficient window styles include:
This one should come as a no-brainer—picture windows have no operable sashes, after all. A lack of moving parts makes these home windows impervious to leaks and drafts caused by warped or poorly fit window sashes. Picture windows also tend to require less maintenance than other styles, making them perfect for homeowners who don’t like to worry about upkeep.
Ironically, these home windows’ greatest strength is also their one drawback: they don’t open, and therefore can’t allow you to enjoy a naturally refreshing cross breeze when the weather is pleasant. That’s why many homeowners supplement their energy-efficient picture windows with operable windows.
Thanks to their side hinges, casement windows swing outwards like a door when opened. This allows them to capture passing wind and channel it into your home, enabling you to fully enjoy those beautiful cross breezes we mentioned earlier.
When these replacement windows really shine, however, is after you close them. Casement windows boast a firm seal that only becomes stronger on gusty days when the wind presses the operable sashes against the house. This reduces air leakage rates and keeps you plenty comfy indoors.
Double-Hung & Sliding Windows
Modern double-hung and sliding windows have come a long way from the leaky, drafty products of the past. In fact, many new double-hung and sliding replacement windows incorporate features specifically designed to reduce air infiltration and improve insulation. This includes staggered sashes and interlocking panels.
Placing Your Windows to Prioritize Efficiency
Of course, purchasing energy-efficient windows for your home is only part of the equation. The other part involves strategically placing your windows in order to take advantage of the natural light without letting your home become overwhelmed by it. To this end, try to avoid placing the bulk of your windows on east- or west-facing walls, which regularly get exposed to harsh, direct light in the morning or evening.
Instead, try placing your home windows on north- or south-facing walls. In warm, southern climates where you’re more likely than not to run your air conditioning unit frequently, having the bulk of your windows look northward will protect your living spaces from direct light and keep you comfy.
In cooler northern climates, on the other hand, south-facing windows usually perform most efficiently year-round. During the summer, the high sun won’t send direct light streaming through your replacement windows. When winter comes, however, the sun drops lower and its direct light will help heat your living spaces without requiring you to crank up the heater.
Of course, if you want to make sure your replacement windows truly embody energy efficiency, you should partner with America’s No. 1 remodeler: Dreamstyle Remodeling! Contact us today to learn more about the energy-efficient windows we install.