There are few things that enhance your homes curb appeal more than new windows. If you choose to replace the windows in your San Diego home with energy efficient windows, you will enjoy the extra perk of significant energy savings each year. The benefits to be reaped are undeniable, since you will not merely upgrade your home’s performance, comfort and appearance, but give your wallet a break, too.
Window Hunting Cheat Sheet
When you are hunting for energy efficient windows in San Diego, you are essentially shopping for all the qualities that your old windows lacked. Older homes were designed before the days of modern energy-efficient technology, so most likely your home has single-pane windows and you are noticing leaks, drafts, amplified external noises, difficulty opening or closing windows, or all of the above.
Look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) rating which, in California, should be etched directly onto the glass. This ensures that the windows have been officially tested and rated. There are two key efficiency factors to look for: The U-factor, which measures the amount of heat that transfers through the window, and the SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient), which determines how well windows block the solar heat. Lower ratings are best for insulating against outdoor air and damaging UV rays.
There are a variety of window materials available, but remember that your choice will determine important factors like cost and the amount of required future maintenance. Aluminum conducts heat and cold, so it is not the best choice for energy-efficiency. Fiberglass cannot be fusion welded, and is fastened mechanically, which makes for a less sturdy and high-maintenance result. Wood is classic, but it is not only the most expensive material, it also requires frequent and exhaustive upkeep such as painting and staining. Vinyl windows are less expensive, and they are designed with energy-efficient properties that guard against air infiltration in your home, as well as cracking, fading, and yellowing. Vinyl windows are weather-resistant and are invulnerable to environmental concerns such as rot, mold and insects. Vinyl windows are by far the best choice for material for energy efficient windows in San Diego, and they will help you save the most money on your energy costs.
Optimize Glass Performance
Glass is another vital component of ensuring that your vinyl windows are living up to your expectations, conserving energy and providing you with the best performance possible. Ordinary, single-pane windows are excellent when it comes to letting light in, but they one fault, it is an insufficient insulator. With that in mind, get replacement windows that are equipped with Low-E glass, which blocks solar heat radiation while allowing visible light to enter. You will want to get double or maybe even triple-pane glass, which has pockets of air and argon gas sandwiched between the layers, ensuring optimum insulation. Make sure the frames are airtight and thermally broken, to prevent the most heat loss.