What do windows have to do with a green home? Windows are a big part of your green home, since most of the heat lost from your home is lost though the windows. A set of inefficient, leaky or badly installed windows can defeat any efforts at energy savings or conservation. How can we stop the money from flying out the window? In this “Focus on Green Homes” edition, we explain how to keep the windows from allowing the heat out of your home.
Through new technological breakthroughs, techniques are now available to build attractive, but energy efficient windows that retain heat a lot better than the old way of building a window. First, energy efficient windows have two panes of glass instead of one. And, in addition, newer windows have had the air space between these two panes of glass filled with argon gas that dramatically slows the heat transfer through the glass panes.
Heat is also lost through the air space between the window frame and the window space in the wall. Most people have had the experience of feeling a draft from leaky windows and doors. This gap around the window frame should be filled with quality insulation to reduce the amount of heat escaping from the home. There are several ways to apply the insulation. One effective way is to fill this gap with expandable foam and then cover the nailing flange of the window with special tape to seal the gap completely.
By doing all these steps, you can greatly increase the energy efficiently of the traditional window. Usually windows cannot be eliminated or reduced in size due to building codes and builder’s rules of thumb. Windows are pleasing to the eye and provide ventilation and safety features that are important to any home. Therefore, windows have to be made more efficient in order to make your home truly green.
When choosing windows for a green home it is a good idea to look at many window manufacturers and their window prices because the most expensive windows are not always the most efficient. Calculating the energy pay-off time is an important tool for choosing the most efficient windows for the money.