Replacing the windows in your home can be quite expensive. Thus, you may be tempted to buy the least expensive windows you can find. However, this is one case where trying to cut your costs up front can leave you exposed to bigger costs in the long run. Windows are poor insulators in general, but by paying a little extra for energy-efficient windows, you can drastically cut your cooling and heating costs. There are a couple of ways to increase the energy efficiency of your windows, and an informed homeowner will know how to choose the best option for saving money up front and over the long run.
The whole point of using two or three panes in a window is to trap gas between the panes of glass. A single pane of glass will absorb heat from your furnace during the winter. The wind that moves across the outer surface of the glass can then rob your home of heat. By putting a layer of gas between two panes of glass, you can better isolate the inside pane from the outside world. By using a noble gas between the panes of glass, you can further reduce the thermal conductivity of your window. In fact, a window filled with argon gas will have 67% less thermal conductivity than an oxygen-filled window. Krypton gas is an even better insulator, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Thus, in terms of cost for performance, argon is the better choice.
Window films protect your home in a different way than gas fills. In essence, they create a filter. UV rays can travel through a window no matter what it is filled with. A reflective window film will deflect UV rays before they have a chance to heat your home during the summer. They can also reflect heat, which will prevent heat from escaping through your windows during the winter. A correctly placed window film can reduce your cooling costs 23% and your heating costs by 25%. In fact if you look at how much you spend versus how much you save, window film is the most cost-effective way to improve the energy efficiency of a window.
Buying energy-efficient windows can save you a lot of money on your HVAC costs, but you should not have to break the bank in order to buy windows for your home. If you have a small budget, then you should buy windows filled with oxygen between the panes of glass, or a mixture of oxygen and argon, and window films placed to strain out UV rays and reflect heat back into your home. Contact a local professional such as Beissel Window & Siding for more information.