If you’re shopping around for windows for houses, you might hear or see the term “Energy Star windows” and wonder if they are worth looking into. Whether walking the aisles of the Home Depot or searching for options on Google, you’ll notice that many retailers proudly display Energy Star windows as a key feature. There’s a reason for that.
It’s always a good idea to research labels and classifications on home materials, especially if you’re looking to improve your environmental impact. Energy Star windows are no different. It’s great to have them in your home, but what’s better is understanding how they work.
Today’s blog breaks down Energy Star windows and explains everything you need to know about these EPA-approved windows that help the environment and save money.
What Is Energy Star?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy run the Energy Star program, designed to help consumers find and buy the highest quality, best-priced products with the lowest environmental impact and save them money.
Energy Star windows make it easy to find “green,” environmentally-friendly products that don’t sacrifice price or quality. Energy Star windows reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease electricity and fossil fuel use, and keep the air as clean as possible.
Why It Matters
Suppose you’re building, renovating, or remodeling your home. In that case, Energy Star windows and similar products are the best choices you can make for high-quality home materials that are reasonably priced and good for the environment.
You’ll also be more comfortable in your home. Energy Star windows regulate the temperature of your home, eliminating cold drafts and spaces of your home that are too warm.
What Makes a Window an Energy Star Window?
Some windows are energy efficient but don’t have the Energy Star label. So, you might wonder, what makes a window an Energy Star window? There are several factors.
- An Energy Star Partner must manufacture the window.
- The window must be tested and meet the criteria for:
- U-Factor (how well the window insulates; the lower the U-Factor, the better)
- Solar heat gain coefficient (how well the window blocks heat from the sun)
- Air leakage (how much air can get through the joints)
- Visible transmittance (how much light gets through the window)
- Condensation resistance (how well the window resists water build-up)
- The windows must have NFRC ratings that meet EPA guidelines.
Without meeting all of the established criteria for Energy Star, a window won’t be Energy Star-certified. That’s not to say that the windows aren’t energy efficient. Any level of energy savings is good. However, you won’t receive all the benefits of Energy Star-certified windows. You likely won’t save as much energy or money.
Why Choose Energy Star Windows?
While windows are just another part of the house to finish, they affect the home quite a bit. There are tons of windows on the market, but only some are Energy Star approved.
Energy Star windows beat their competitors because of how they insulate your home. The multiple panes and glass elements that come with Energy Star windows keep your heating and air inside your home instead of allowing it to seep through the windows to the outside.
In this regard, Energy Star windows save you money since you don’t have to pay more money for more heat that will seep through your windows. In fact, you can keep the temperature exactly where you want it and be comfortable in your window seat.
Savings with Energy Star Windows
How much will Energy Star windows save you? Estimated savings are about 12% across the country when you compare Energy Star windows with non-Energy Star windows.
If you replace single-pane windows with Energy Star windows, you’ll save hundreds of dollars and thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of hundreds of gallons of gasoline.
The savings aren’t quite as high if you replace double-pane, clear-glass windows with Energy Star windows, but you’ll still save hundreds of dollars and thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide.
For the most up-to-date statistics on how much Energy Star windows can save you, visit the Energy Star website.
Are Energy Star Windows Worth the Investment?
Triple-pane Energy Star windows are the most expensive option, but double-pane Energy Star windows are more affordably priced. While you will pay a higher price for Energy Star windows, the long-term savings will make the investment worth it.
Utah residents are no strangers to the dramatic temperature swings that come with living in the mountains. We have single digits and heavy snow in the winter but triple-digit dry heat in the summertime. It’s enough to make anyone’s A/C, gas, and power bills work overtime most of the year to keep you comfortable.
Energy Star Windows Help with Indoor Temperatures
Even then, most homeowners avoid sitting near the window during the winter. It’s a natural response to a window that draws heat away from you and your home. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re cold when it’s 70 degrees inside, it’s probably because you don’t have Energy Star windows.
The same is true, just in reverse, for the summer. If your home is unseasonably warm with the A/C on, it’s time to upgrade. Standard double-pane windows let a lot of the sun’s heat into your home, while Energy Star Windows keep the sun out and keep your home brightly lit.
Investing in high-quality, triple-pane Energy Star windows will keep your bills lower, your temperature where it should be, and your house functioning beautifully.
Choose Mountain States Windows & Siding
If you’re ready to upgrade your windows, Energy Star windows from Mountain States Windows & Siding are the way to go. We can carry high-quality products at a great price and provide superior services. Contact us today to learn more about our window options. We also offer free estimates to get you started!