In the past, picking a window of your choice was something that requires no much thinking. Just select the frame style that match your home design and you are good to go. Then, windows come in a single-pane, one piece per sash, and one additional storm sash always set at the back for padding. But nowadays, with the wide variety of options available, the situation can sometimes be more complex to handle. Your ability to select the right window treatment can go a long way in terms of saving you from spending more money while giving you the luxury your home deserves.
Among the many variables require to picking the right window treatment, the local climate is mostly consider as a source of energy making decisions. A step further in this direction will provide 3 basic choices you must give priority to when it comes to the right type of window. Once you know this, factors like shading (overhanging trees), orientation (a south-facing vs. a north-facing window), and climate will be an easy thing to contemplate. Anytime you ‘re going through certain labels or recommendations, the following basic ideas will give you a clue as to what you really need:
The number of window panes required
Even though we ‘re no longer living in the era of single pane windows, which are mostly used for fixed windows i.e. windows that do not open or better still to replace other windows that fit with an existing style. At most instance, it is either between double-paned windows or triple-paned windows. In most homes, the choice of a double-paned window is fitting. Nonetheless, there may be need for that additional layer of padding, in the form of gas fill and coating.
Why Use Gas Fill Windows?
Most new windows come with the option of gas fill. This is a process whereby inert gases are sealed in between the window panes right from the factory using either the Krypton gas, Argon gas or the mixture of both gases. These two gases are basically a poor conductor of heat, meaning that they prevent loss of heat via the window. This traps in cool air in time of summer and warm air during winter. Even though It may not be necessary to use gas fill panes in warmer climates, you will surely find an expensive Krypton gas attractive in cooler climates.
The Need for Low-E Windows
In cooler climates Low –emittance (Low –E) coating is a type of window you can’t do without. A more sophisticated coated window layered with microscopic metal using a diffused gas to overturn radiant heat transfer. Not applicable to warmer climates, the coating allows solar heat to penetrate through the window at the same time avoiding the loss of heat. You can find a lot of Low-E variations around but the ones that are commonly used because of their window treatment distinctions are Low-, Moderate-, and High Solar Gain. For solar gain, lower solar gain is more suitable for cooler climates. Low-E also comes in other variations such as the more efficient Heat Mirror and its other companion Superglass. It is therefore advisable to know what suits your climate before making any move of using any of these two glazing systems as they have their own cost implication.
Making Your Choice
As usual, before you make your choice for any of these window treatments, you will like to know how much it cost. A very important step in this direction might be to look at the various ratings posted on each window and compare the price and standards from different variations. As an example, a double- pane, low –E window can provide you with the same value just like a triple-pane untreated window. The good news is that, you have lots of resources readily available to you that can help you in your decision making process. For overall window performance, window treatment cannot be underestimated.
According to The National Fenestration Rating Council, there are 3 set yardsticks for measuring energy performance on most windows and one of which is: insulation – the amount of light that passes through, and the ability to shield against the heat from the sun. In this vein, it is possible to know if the window that is being sold in a particular climate area is compliant with the minimum standard for insulation in that area with the help of the EPA ‘s Energy Star Sticker. Using information like this and so many others, you will be in a better position to make an inform decision whenever you want to purchase windows for your home.