Should you replace your windows?

If the windows in your home have metal frames, it’s a sure bet that you should consider replacing them for the energy savings alone.  Until the 2006 energy code was enacted in Yavapai County, almost all of the windows installed in this area had clear insulated glass.  While insulated glass is more energy efficient than single pane, the glass choices we have today are much, much better.

At our 5000 feet of elevation in the Prescott area, we have daily temperature swings of 30 to 50 degrees.  In the morning, we want our homes warm, and in the afternoon, we want them cool.

That means that our glass needs to keep heat in, as well as keep heat out. As the following graph shows, when the sun hits normal clear insulated glass, the glass does little to stop the heat from passing through.

Low-E Glass, which became a standard for new construction with the adoption of the 2006 energy code, does a better job, blocking a good percentage of the heat (NIR-Near Infra Red), and the damaging ultra-violet (UV).  LowE-366, developed by Cardinal Glass over a decade ago, is the current value point in glass technology, blocking almost ALL of the UV and NIR portions of the light spectrum, but still letting 66% of the visible light pass through the glass.

Whether you choose to use vinyl windows or aluminum clad wood windows, it will be the glass choice that you make that will give you the greatest savings on your energy bills, and the biggest increase in your home’s comfort.

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