When it comes to boosting your home’s energy efficiency, you’ve got loads of exterior renovations available. Roofing, siding, you name it—every item plays its part in keeping your home’s utility bills low and reducing stain on the environment. If you’re looking to update your home in that vein, then, you can be quickly overwhelmed by all the options, so which one should you go with first? And are they all as worth it as they might seem?
Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors is here to help you navigate these waters. As Sauk Rapids roofing and siding contractors and window installation pros, we’ve helped many families just like yours modernize their homes and enjoy the energy-saving benefits. Below, we’ll dive into a common question regarding such benefits: are energy-efficient windows worth the investment?
According to the United States Department of Energy, “About 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows. In cooling seasons, about 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.” So you’d be wise to work towards modernizing your windows if you’re looking for energy savings; those numbers are quite large!
But will energy-efficient windows do the trick? Just because lots of heat and cold air is lost through standard windows doesn’t necessarily mean that their counterparts can prevent it, after all. That being said, they still do! The United States Department of Energy reports that, for the year of 2005, installing ENERGY STAR windows to replace single-pane ones can save a homeowner anywhere from $135-340 dollars a year. Given that technology and innovation have had a long time to advance since then, those savings might even be higher today than back then.
So, yes, energy efficient windows are always worth the investment, and they’re always a smart choice for homeowners looking to save energy. That being said, how much energy you save can be affected by a variety of factors. Window installation benefits are heavily dependent on things both within and outside of a homeowner’s control; let’s take a look at them below.
Windows don’t somehow lose their effectiveness when they’re transported across state lines! This has more to do with how much the temperature outside differs from the temperature inside, and therefore how much you pay in the first place to maintain those temperatures. A homeowner in California, for example, where the weather is relatively temperate, might not need to pay as much in the first place to artificially heat or cool their surroundings as, say, a person who lives in a moodier climate. And when it comes to moodiness, Minnesota ranks pretty high up there—so so will the savings.
How much you’re charged for a given unit of energy is also variable depending on location, too. In this sense how much you save with your new window replacement can vary depending on local markets, but you’ll always rest easy knowing you’re being money smart in some way regardless.
Not all windows, even if they’re labeled a certain way, are created equally. There are, of course, differences in quality depending on the brand—but we’re referring more broadly to differences in structure, in the number of panes and the frame type. At Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors, as window installation pros, we prefer triple-pane, vinyl-frame windows for a variety of reasons, one of which being their energy efficiency!
We’ve actually written an entire blog on the subject. Check it out for the full scoop: “Why Buy Triple-Pane Vinyl Windows.”
The gist, though, is this: triple-pane vinyl windows have both an advantageous frame type and pane number when it comes to saving on your energy bills. This window type boasts two separate chambers of insulating gasses, while standard, double-pane windows only boast the one between the panes. Triple-pane windows are thus undoubtedly better insulators, as there is more of that gas to separate the temperatures outside from those inside.
When it comes to the frames, vinyl is where it’s at as far as energy efficiency is concerned. High durability means that the substance is unlikely to become drafty provided it’s taken care of, which saves you money. The material itself is also a phenomenal insulator, sometimes beating out more expensive frame types. To learn more about the benefits of vinyl-framed windows, check out our blog “Wood Vs. Vinyl Windows: Which Window Type Is Best?”.
Combine these two powerhouse materials and you get an energy-efficient window that’s a superior money saver. If you’re eco-conscious, vinyl frames also come with an additional benefit: they can be recycled!
Ready to bring your home’s energy usage into the present day? We’re ready to help. Give us a call today at 320-252-9086.