How much do your Kansas City windows REALLY affect your energy costs?
“Energy efficiency” is quite the buzz word when it comes to replacement windows. Most replacement windows claim to be energy efficient and supposedly offer significant savings for your home’s energy savings. But with so many claims out there, sometimes homeowners have to wonder, “Is this just another sales gimmick?” How much of a difference can a few windows really make on your energy bills, anyway?
While some advertisers may tend to overstate the impact, your windows do make a noticeable difference on your energy costs, particularly the two factors that play most heavily into your energy costs: heating/air and lighting. Old, damaged windows could in fact be a detriment to both of these things, and the right replacement windows could improve them.
Replacement Windows and HVAC Costs
All windows allow some amount of air to leak through them. That means some amount of air from outside leaks into your home and some amount of temperature from inside leaks out. The goal is to keep air leakage to a minimum. If it’s too much, your house can feel stuffy on a hot summer day or chilly and drafty during the winter. And if your house is uncomfortable, you’re more likely to turn up the heating or air conditioning to balance the temperature. Thus, your energy bill spikes. The NFRC has a scale to rate air leakage (AL) in replacement windows ranging from 0.1-0.3. The lower the numbers, the better the replacement windows.
R-Value, which judges a window’s ability to resist heat flow, is also important to consider. Replacement windows with high R-value will be able to keep heat inside your home during the winter and keep it from getting in during the summer. If your windows have low R-Values, you may notice condensation on the inside of your windows during winter months. This is a sure sign that it’s time for replacement windows.
Replacement Windows and Lighting
If it’s sunny out and you have good windows, you shouldn’t have to rely on electric lighting to light your home during the day. The windows should flood the home with natural light, which is not only cost effective, but healthier for you. In fact, before electricity was popularized, this was basically the purpose of windows. However, there are factors that can impede your window’s ability to light your home.
Sometimes it’s as simple as a tree blocking the sunlight. By trimming the tree, you can enjoy sunlight streaming into your home through the same window. Sometimes the position of the window isn’t convenient for letting in much light, in which case it might not be replacement windows you need but new windows altogether. In some cases, however, it might be that the old windows are damaged. For instance, gas-filled windows — which are actually very efficient in terms of slowing the flow of air between glass panes — may have a broken seal which gives them a distorted or grimy look. The less light the windows allow into the room, the more lights you have to turn on in your home.
Once again, the NFRC has another rating system that judges a replacement window’s ability to filter natural light into a room. In this case, it’s called Visible Transmittance, or VT. VT is rated on a scale of 0-1. The higher the number, the more light that replacement window lets in. The more light your replacement windows let in, the more you save on your electric bill.
If your old windows are causing your energy bills to spike, quality replacement windows can make a difference. Contact Johnson County Siding & Window Co. today about how our Kansas City replacement windows can help you save on your energy costs.