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How to Choose the Best Insulating Window

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If you are looking for the best insulating windows for your home, there are a variety of items to consider—including the frame. So if a great insulating window—one that keeps the heat and cold out—is your main concern, make sure you keep the insulating properties at top of mind when doing your window shopping.

Windows are the Key to Insulation

It’s crucial to make sure you have proper windows for your home to keep out the cold and heat. After all, windows and doors play the biggest role in the temperature of your home. And it’s not important to just have well insulating windows and doors but to make sure that the areas sounding these products don’t have gaps where air can escape. For tips on how to prevent air leaks check out this blog.

You may even want to hire a professional to perform an energy audit on your home, which would include the windows and doors. One of the things this company would do is perform a blower door test which depressurizes a home and can reveal the location of many leaks. The results of this audit can help you decide whether or not you want to proceed with your window and door replacement or perhaps delay slightly.

Consider the Window Price

It helps if you develop a budget before-hand and decide what you can afford for your new windows and doors. For example, if your budget can’t allow for five new highly insulating windows and doors perhaps you replace three now and two down the road. Having this financial information before you go window shopping will prove helpful as you navigate your options. Request a quote now.

Consider the Window Material

The framing system has a lot to do with the insulating properties of a window. Wood is less prone to heat transfer than say aluminum, but where you live, and your climate, always plays a big role. For example, while aluminum may not be at the top of the list when it comes to heat transfer, if you are in a hurricane prone area, this material is great for reducing corrosion and standing up to the elements. So again, there are always many factors to consider. While wood offers superior insulating properties, it requires more upkeep, so that is a factor to consider. All framing materials have great insulating options so be sure to do your research and consider all the factors important to you before making a purchase.

Consider Your Window Orientation

Whether you are replacing all your windows, or just one, be sure to consider the orientation of your windows, and where you get the most sun. For example, if there is a room of the house with direct sun, you want to make sure that particular window is particularly high performing to keep out the heat.

Look for the Energy Star Label

It is important to look for the Energy Star label when purchasing new windows. This is an important factor and will quickly narrow down some options. This program was launched in 1992 by the Government’s Environmental Protection Agency, and the goal was to identify, and encourage the use of, energy-efficient products. Many product categories have the Energy Star label and this includes windows and doors. The program works with third-party agencies to test and certify these products to make sure they meet the requirements of the Energy Star label.

There are a wide variety of options in the Energy Star program. Energy Star also has a Most Efficient program for windows so perhaps that is an option as well—to look at windows that have that higher designation.

Understand your Glass Options

When doing your window research, and looking into Energy Star windows, for example, you will see there are a variety of options when it comes to the glass. If you want a window that insulates well, you definitely want one with low-E glass. This is glass with a low-E coating that helps reduce the UV light that passes through the window.

You will also want a double-glazed window, one with two panes of glass—insulating glass.

Insulating glass is made to prevent heat transfer into or out of your home. It consists of multiple pieces of glass separated by spacers made of either metal, such as aluminum, or structural foam. The space between the glass is sometimes filled with a gas such as argon or krypton. Insulating glass even comes in triple pane options as well. Triple IG can offer superior insulating properties, but a similarly insulating window may be achieved through a dual-pane product with say krypton gas for example. There are literally thousands of configurations for windows, and your window or door salesperson can help you decipher all the options.

Installation is Key

You can have the best windows but if they are installed improperly you will continue to have heat loss, and high heating and cooling bills. So when doing your research, ask about the installation process. For example, does the window company sub out the installation or use in-house installers? Look to company referrals for insight into the installation process as well.


Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.



Tara Taffera

Tara Taffera was the editorial director for USGlass magazine, AGRR Magazine , and Window Film Magazine. Her skills and more than 20 years of experience have helped her earn numerous journalism awards, including coveted Jesse Neal Awards. Tara enjoys spending time with her family and staying active with her husband by competing in races together, including triathlons. She also spends time volunteering in her community and with her church. Find out more about Tara on Linkedin.

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