Many features and technology make windows more energy efficient and enhance the durability, aesthetics, and performance. When choosing new windows, consider the frame materials, the glass or glazing attributes, gas fills and spacers, and the sort of operation.
Improving the thermal resistance of the framework can promote a window’s overall energy efficiency, especially its U-factor. There are advantages and disadvantages to all sorts of frame materials, but wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and a few composite framework materials provide greater thermal resistance than metal.
Although very powerful, light, and nearly maintenance free, aluminum or metal window frames run heat very rapidly, making metal an extremely poor insulating material.
These composites are extremely secure, they have the exact same or better structural and thermal properties as traditional wood, and they have greater moisture and corrosion resistance.
Fiberglass window frames are dimensionally stable and have air cavities which can be full of insulation, providing them exceptional thermal performance compared to timber or uninsulated vinyl.
The hollow cavities of vinyl frames can be full of insulation, making them thermally superior to standard vinyl and timber frames.
Wood window frames insulate relatively well, but they need regular maintenance, although vinyl or aluminum cladding reduces maintenance requirements. Metal clad wood frames might have slightly lower thermal performance.
Glazing or Glass
In addition to deciding on a frame type, you’ll have to consider which sort of glass or glazing you should utilize to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Based on several different window design factors like window orientation, climate, building design, etc., you might even want to choose various kinds of glazing for different windows throughout your dwelling.
Many more glazing types and combinations are covered elsewhere; see the Efficient Windows Collaborative to find out about the particular properties and efficacy of different glazing choices.
Below are some of the coatings and technology you will find when shopping for windows:
Insulated window glazing refers to windows with at least two panes of glass.