What is the best window type for an energy-efficient home? Energy-efficient homes are constructed in a way so that they can keep out the wind and rain while minimizing energy waste. In fact, modern homes are designed with energy efficiency in mind. They are built by using a variety of different materials. Due to the diversity of window types available on the market, it is essential to understand the different types of windows before deciding on which type to use when it comes to energy efficiency.
Best Materials for an Energy Efficiency
There is no doubt that there is a vast array of options for individuals seeking energy-efficient solutions. Some of these options include,
- Fiberglass window
- Vinyl window
- Steel window
All of these different types of windows have their advantages and disadvantages regarding energy efficiency.
Fiberglass is exceptionally durable and is virtually seen to be nearly impossible to shatter. In fact, it is said to be ten times stronger than its counterpart materials (vinyl) and is similar in strength to aluminum. What separates it from aluminum, however, is that it is far more resistant and is two times more thermally efficient. Fiberglass is known to be very sturdy, and because it holds its shape so well, it is considered to be the ideal material for blocking out wind and preserving in-house temperature.
Even at its production, fiberglass is comprised of cheaper and more eco-friendly materials. Unlike wooden frames that require an obscene amount of trees during procurement stages, fiberglass puts eco-friendly shoppers at ease. Making it easy to decide what type of window to buy when energy efficiency is the priority.
Vinyl windows are usually made with both polyvinyl chloride, as well as reinforced with, ultraviolet light stabilizers. These complementary materials allow vinyl windows to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. Also, vinyl window frames have excellent moisture resistance which makes them ideal in damp regions. Additionally, because the hollow cavities of vinyl frames can be filled with insulation, this allows the vinyl to be thermally superior when compared to standard wooden frame options.
Although steel windows are not the most energy-efficient when compared to aluminum or fiberglass, choosing steal should still be considered as it always has quite a fair bit of advantages both ecologically and architecturally. Many of these advantages revolve around steels aesthetic and unique appearance as well as its undisputed durability. Steel framed windows are particularly useful in regions where there are constant heavy winds and potential for earthquake-like activity.
Additional Precautions for Energy Efficiency
Besides choosing the right window materials for energy-efficient households, special coating such as glazing and e-coating can also be used to help improve environmental/energy efficiency.
In regards to window glazing, more is better. If you are going for thermal efficiency, it is better to consider using double- and triple-glazed windows. With double and triple glaze, these types of windows have a layer of gas between panes, which makes them more thermally efficient as opposed to their counterparts that are most usually, single glazed. Argon or krypton gas are typically used in most scenarios. Argon is recommended as it is not as expensive, but is equally, as good as krypton gas concerning insulating properties.
E-coating or emissive coating is comprised of a thin layer of metal oxide on the window pane that helps reflect heat back to its primary source. Windows that utilize e-coating will be able to keep heat inside during winters as well as, reflect heat back from outdoor objects during the summer season. Essentially, keeping homes cooler and more comfortable all year round.
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