Spring has finally landed in the Twin Cities, which means our notorious summer heat and humidity aren’t far off. If you’ve been searching for home improvements to help you beat the summer heat and lower your annual energy costs, energy-efficient windows might be on your radar. Are they an effective choice? Should you make the investment? Our window contractors at Keyprime Roofing break down the details below.
What Exactly Are Energy-Efficient Windows?
Energy-efficient windows are designed to provide superior heat insulation through a variety of design specializations. Depending on the manufacturer, they typically feature the following traits:
● Specialty glass coating. Low-emissivity glass, also known as low-E glass, forms the foundation of an energy-efficient window. Unlike standard glass, low-E window panes block 90% of the sun’s rays, keeping summer heat outdoors, and cool, conditioned air indoors.
● Multi-pane glass. Unlike inefficient, single-pane windows, energy-efficient windows contain up to three panes of glass, depending on the style. Added panes provide additional heat protection, as well as greater longevity.
● Gas insulation. Certain energy-efficient windows take insulation a step further by injecting krypton or argon gas in between each pane. Though invisible, these gases are denser than air, which offers additional insulation against summer heat.
● Specialized frames. Energy-efficient windows often feature additional insulation within the frame, which offers extra protection against heat exchange.
Unlike their standard counterparts, energy-efficient windows also offer higher impact ratings. In our tornado-prone corner of the country, impact-resistance is another important consideration when selecting new windows.
Are Energy-Efficient Windows Worth the Expense?
Should you invest in energy-efficient windows? Are the benefits worth the added cost? In a word, absolutely. According to the United States Department of Energy, heat loss through standard windows comprises approximately 25-30% of the average home’s annual heating and cooling use.
Unfortunately, that translates to quite a lot of money down the drain, especially in the Twin Cities where it’s usually either freezing cold or scorching hot. Imagine reducing your annual energy costs by 25-30% over the span of the next 15-20 years — how much money could you save?
Design Options for Energy-Efficient Windows
At Keyprime Roofing, we offer a variety of window options that can be combined with energy-efficient glass for superior thermal resistance. Some of our most popular styles include:
● Vinyl windows. Vinyl provides a low-maintenance, customizable option that comes in a variety of styles, including awning windows, bay and bow windows, double-hung windows, and casement windows. On average, vinyl windows last approximately 40 years, which exceeds the lifespan of most other window materials.
● Clad windows. Clad windows are another minimal-maintenance option due to their protective outer casing. Though the interior is fashioned from traditional wood, the outer casing provides superior protection against the outside elements. Materials options include vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass, all of which are fully customizable to match your exterior design. On average, clad windows have a lifespan of up to 30 years.
● Wood windows. Traditional wood windows may require more long-term maintenance than their vinyl and clad counterparts, but for many homeowners, the visual appeal is worth it. Like vinyl, our wood windows are available in several styles, including bay & bow, casement, double-hung, and awning. Depending on environmental conditions, wood windows have an average lifespan of 15-20 years.
Not sure which option best meets your needs? Our window contractors can work with you to design a solution that provides both superior thermal protection and aesthetic appeal.
Not Ready for Window Replacements? Try These Updates
If your windows are already in good condition (but not highly energy efficient), there’s no reason to fork over thousands of dollars for replacements. A few simple updates can improve your indoor comfort level and save you a significant amount on your annual energy bills. What can you do? Try these easy tweaks:
● Install awnings, overhangs, or exterior blinds for additional sun protection
● Add window treatment coverings
● Check each window for air leaks
● Update the caulking and weatherstripping
● Install exterior storm windows
With any window upgrade, be sure to pay close attention to proper installation technique to ensure a complete seal against the outside elements. After you’ve finished the project, test each window for air leaks once more.
Keyprime Roofing: Your Trusted Twin Cities Window Contractor
If you’re in the market for new windows to insulate your home against the scorching summer sun, our window contractors are here to serve you. We’ll help you select from a variety of premium windows and perform your window installation to your exact specifications. We know working with multiple contractors can be quite a hassle, so when you partner with our team, we’ll manage your project from beginning to completion.
To learn more about our window and door installation services, give our team a call at 952-426-0132. You can also send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll get back to you promptly! Ready to get started with your project estimate? Feel free to request your free quote online.