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Choosing New Energy Efficient Windows

One of the leading reasons homeowners choose to replace windows is to improve energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy roughly 30% of total energy losses inside the home are due to inefficient windows. Over time that is a huge amount of energy wasted. Not only can this impact your comfort, but also your finances. Here is what you need to look for in energy efficient windows in San Diego:

1. Insulating Materials

Window frames come in a number of materials including wood, fiberglass, vinyl, and metal. Wood windows are fairly good insulators, but often expand and contract due to temperature. Metal is also less energy efficient in areas like San Diego, CA because it easily heats up in warmer weather. The best insulators are therefore fiberglass and vinyl windows. They keep unwanted heat transfers both in and out of your home.

2. Low U-Factor

This number measures the amount of non-solar heat transference through your window. Basically it is the inverse of the R-Value used to measure insulation of a specific material. A lower U-Factor means it is a good insulator and heat takes longer to transfer through the materials. The closer to zero, the better for energy savings.

3. Low Shading Coefficient (SC) and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

Another number you need to pay attention to is the SC. This compares solar heat gains of your window to that of a plane, single pane of 1/8” glass. Homeowners in warm and sunny climates want a lower SC rating. This means the window blocks more heat from the sun. The SHGC accounts for about 87% of the SC and measures total heat absorbed by window glass. Again, lower number closer to zero means less heat gains.

4. Double or Triple Pane

The more layers heat must travel through, the more energy efficient your windows will be. In most cases a double paned window with argon gas will prove sufficient for San Diego, CA. However, if you live in a particularly hot area with little shade you might even consider a triple pane to give you even more insulation.

5. Low-E Glass

This literally means low emissivity, which means the surface emits low levels of radiant heat. Typically Low-E glass has special glazes that let in visible light, but reflect radiant heat.

6. Gas Fills

Typically manufacturers use krypton or argon gas with measurable improvement in a new window’s thermal performance. Both gases are clear, nontoxic, inert, and completely odorless. These gases paired with optimal spacing will vastly improve your energy efficiency.

Just because windows give you access to the outside doesn’t mean they have to be a complete energy drain. At Clear Concepts we know how to improve energy savings in San Diego, CA with replacement windows. Call us today at (619) 583-7171 or visit us at 7525 Mission Gorge Rd. Suite G, San Diego, CA 92120 to learn more.

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