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Energy Efficient Windows

Buying Energy-Efficient Windows

Windows provide our homes with light, warmth, and ventilation, but they can also negatively impact a home's energy efficiency. You can reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows in your home.

Energy Efficient Windows

Heating Season Savings

In MN with a significant heating season, non-energy efficient windows can represent a major source of unwanted heat loss, discomfort, and condensation problems. Drafty windows can cause your energy bills to be about 10% to 30% higher, according to Energy.gov. In recent decades, windows have undergone a technological revolution. It is now possible to have lower heat loss, less air leakage, and warmer window surfaces that improve comfort and minimize condensation. The graphs below illustrate the simulated savings in heating season costs associated with energy efficient windows for a typical house in a heating-dominated climate. The savings shown do not include possible savings from reduced air leakage. Depending on the condition of the old windows in an existing home, the savings can be higher if window replacement leads to long-term air leakage reduction.

Lower HVAC Costs

High-performance windows not only provide reduced annual heating and cooling bills; they reduce the peak heating and cooling loads as well. The peak load for a building is the maximum requirement for heating or cooling at one time. These loads determine the size of the furnace, heat pump, air conditioner, and fans that must be installed.

Reducing peak load may allow homeowners to install a smaller heating or cooling system. Smaller HVAC systems cost less and as such can offset some of the cost of the efficient windows. The graphs below show HVAC system size for an average size home in Minneapolis. In the Minneapolis window choices can impact cooling equipment size by up to a ton. In any homebuilding or remodeling project it is important to properly size the HVAC system to ensure that the equipment runs efficiently and provides the best comfort. When efficient windows are installed, peak HVAC loads are often lower than commonly expected.

Your windows are damaged, warped, or broken or your home needs a makeover.

Windows are one of the most prominent features of a home, and if they look worn, your house will too. Look to see whether the color is fading or the window material is warping, or whether old screens or storm windows detract from the curb appeal of your home.

Replacing a damaged, warped, or broken window sash or frame is almost always preferred to attempting a repair. Even if the windows are still operable, they can develop problems. Do your windows fog up? Are they drafty? Do they stick when you try to open or close them? Do they refuse to stay open? If your windows are communicating in those ways, they’re telling you to replace them.

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