When installing new windows, it's important to consider your climate. Effective windows will keep the heat out during summer and the cold out during winter. Many people buy new windows especially so they can better protect the indoor climate of their home. If you live in a mixed or moderate climate, the following window choices may be effective solutions for your home.
According to window experts, people who live in mixed climates should shop for windows that are "NFRC-certified [with a] U-factor less than or equal to 0.40." (1) Consumers should note that a low U-factor means less heat is transferred. Also, consumers should look for a window with "NFRC-certified SHGC [that is] less than or equal to 0.40." This type of window can actually help decrease air conditioning costs and even provides added comfort during seasons like spring and fall. A low solar heat gain coefficient and a low U-factor will enhance your home's energy efficiency and, of course, its comfort.
For moderate and mixed climates, energy efficient windows will make a tremendous difference in your energy costs throughout the year. Be sure that the windows you select have weather stripping at the movable joints. In addition, windows should be manufactured with durable materials and feature window-edge spacers between the windows' glazing. Of course, it helps to shop for windows that boast an energy-efficient label and are specifically designed with energy efficiency in mind.
Design for Your Climate
Passive design features such as those that exist in new windows will help you to work with your climate and not against it. Your air conditioning unit, for instance, will have to work less hard when your windows prevent solar energy from seeping inside and warming up the interior. Similarly, an adequate window barrier also keeps heat indoors so your furnace doesn't need to kick on quite so frequently. When thinking about new windows, you should first consider your climate before making your selection.
Many homeowners prefer to work with a local specialty window provider. Consulting a local expert means that your window supplier is perfectly versed with all aspects of your climate. You can "find out which product will offer the best value and performance" (2) for your needs. Your specialty window supplier has access to leading brands that are known for their energy-efficiency. Be sure to ask about brands like Great Lakes, Comfort Design, LBL, and Superior.
When you choose windows that are designed with a mixed and moderate climate in mind, you can safeguard the interior environment of your home and better support your home's energy efficiency. When you invest in new windows, you should feel a difference in your home right away. You'll note that your home may be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. New windows are an excellent investment for your home that can even add value. Consult with your supplier to select windows that are ideal for your climate as well as your home.
1. HGTV Remodels, "The Best Window for a Mixed Climate," http://www.hgtvremodels.com/home-systems/the-best-window-for-a-mixed-climate/index.html
2. AAAWindows for Less, "Products," http://www.aaawindows4less.com/products/