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5 Most Energy-Efficient Windows Of 2024 and How to Choose The Right One

Posted on : March 10, 2024

5 Most Energy-Efficient Windows Of 2024 and How to Choose The Right One

Energy-efficient windows are ingenious innovations that reduce heat gain or loss indoors, facilitate natural lighting, and offer better insulation than traditional glass panes. The outcome? Decreased reliance on artificial heating or cooling systems and reduced energy bills.

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we regularly share our expertise in home improvements to help create a better living environment for our readers and customers. As a window specialist, I am here to help you choose the perfect windows for your home.

In this guide, you will discover the best energy-saving windows, what makes them energy-efficient, and learn how to make the right choice.

How to Check The Energy Efficiency Of Windows

Energy-Efficient Windows

When installing new windows or upgrading existing ones, it's essential to understand the labels or badges shown on them. Contrary to common perception, they're more than just branding and trademarks. These labels also include details demonstrating the standards a particular window has met through rigorous testing processes.

Should these labels influence your buying decision? On a technical note, yes, they should. So, let’s learn about the labels and technologies underlying the energy efficiency of these windows.

Energy Efficiency Labels and Certifications

Firstly, I want you to pay close attention to a term that regularly appears on window labels: ENERGY STAR® certification. This designation is provided by an initiative backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). ENERGY STAR certified windows meet strict guidelines for superior energy efficiency, helping keep your cooling or heating costs at bay throughout the year.

One rating that reflects the energy cost savings precisely is the Energy Performance Rating, which is offered as part of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labeling. These ratings are based on independent tests given by the NFRC and provide homeowners with insights into different energy-efficient aspects of each product.

E Glass Technology

A crucial technology that revolutionized the field of energy-efficient windows is E Glass Technology. You might wonder what "E" is here. It refers to emissivity, reflecting how much heat radiation a window can absorb or reflect.

Low-E glass surfaces have a thin metallic oxide layer responsible for reflecting heat and reducing emissive power at a much higher rate than standard glass.

By using Low-E glass, homeowners can enjoy a significant reduction in their heating or cooling costs while maintaining excellent visibility through their windows. Moreover, it also filters out harmful UV rays that may fade your furniture over time.

Single-Pane Windows vs. Double-Pane Windows

Let's talk about another innovation: pane counting. When considering window replacement, you'll encounter terms like single-pane, double-pane, and perhaps even triple-pane windows.

Single-pane windows consist of just one sheet of glass, meaning they lack insulation against outside temperatures when compared with double or triple-pane versions.

Double-pane windows come with two sheets of glass separated by an insulating gap filled with argon or krypton gas. These form a shield against the transmission of cold and hot outer temperatures indoors.

Therefore, installing double-pane windows proves cost-effective on a few levels. You benefit from smaller utility bills due to less strain on your HVAC system, plus greater indoor comfort during extreme weather conditions.

U-Factor and SHGC Ratings

Lastly, let me introduce you to U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) ratings.

The U-factor represents the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow. The smaller the U-factor, the more energy-conserving the window. It usually lies in the range of 0.2 to 1.2.

SHGC signifies how well your window blocks heat caused by sunlight. Lower SHGC values are ideal for warmer climates as they trap less solar heat, while higher SHGC is perfect for colder areas as it can help warm up interiors using natural solar warmth.

By finding the right balance between these ratings based on your home’s location, you can make an informed choice and buy a stellar set of energy-saving windows!

5 Most Energy-Efficient Windows of 2024

Here are the top models selected after careful research:

#1 1500 Series Windows by Ply Gem®

1500 Series Windows by Ply Gem®

The Ply Gem 1500 Series windows are highly durable, low-maintenance, and energy efficient. Crafted with advanced glass technologies, these windows aim to cut heating and cooling costs while ensuring year-round comfort.

  • They feature an interlocking sash for effective water management and glazed glass for improved insulation. 
  • Offering customization with various grille patterns and finish options, they cater to different architectural styles. 
  • Functionality is emphasized through different window styles, each designed for easy cleaning, operation, weather resistance, and security. 
  • Recognized as the Most Efficient of ENERGY STAR in 2023, these windows offer optional triple-pane glass packages for enhanced energy savings. 
  • Additional benefits include fade protection for furnishings, privacy options, and impact-resistant products for areas with stringent wind requirements.

#2 Insulator Window Series by Joyce™ 

Insulator Window Series by Joyce™ 

The Joyce Insulator Series windows offer cost-effective window solutions without compromising quality. 

  • With fusion-welded corner construction, insulated glass, and weather-stripped sashes, these windows ensure comfort and energy efficiency year-round. 
  • The series includes various styles like double hung, sliders, casements, and more, providing options to suit different preferences and architectural needs. 
  • These thermally efficient windows not only save energy but also enhance the beauty and value of homes. 
  • With warranty options and distribution across over thirty states, Joyce prioritizes quality and customer satisfaction.

#3 Pella® 250 Series Windows

Pella® 250 Series Windows

The Pella 250 Series windows stand out for their high durability and energy efficiency. They are stronger than standard vinyl windows due to their multi-chambered frames and reinforced sashes.

  • These windows are also energy-conserving, meeting or exceeding ENERGY STAR certification in all 50 states. 
  • They feature an exclusive fade-resistant vinyl frame and optional triple-pane glass for improved sound control and energy savings. 
  • The series introduces an innovative Hidden Screen that appears when the window is open and folds away when closed, providing both functionality and aesthetics. 
  • With various window styles available, homeowners can choose the perfect fit for their needs. Customization options include different frame colors and InView screens that allow in more light.

#4 Simonton 5500 Collection Windows

Simonton 5500 Collection Windows

The Simonton 5500 Collection windows are award-winning windows built to prioritize customization, energy efficiency, and durability. 

  • These windows have a classic beveled design and can be customized with various options, including different types of glass for enhanced acoustics, security, privacy, and fade protection. 
  • They are ENERGY STAR certified and offer region-specific glass packages for optimal energy performance. 
  • Additionally, they feature triple-pane glass options for exceptional thermal performance and interior comfort. 
  • Homeowners can choose from a range of customization options, including grille profiles, screen frames, and color-matched cam lock finishes. 
  • The windows are built with fusion-welded construction and thick vinyl sashes for durability, and they include features such as dual low-profile cam locks and heat-strengthened tempered safety glass for increased security.

#5 Energy Guard Super High-Performance R5-Plus Windows by Thermo-Tech®

Windows by Thermo-Tech®

Thermo Tech’s Energy Guard Super High-Performance R5-Plus Windows represent a new level of energy efficiency, performance, and aesthetics. By reducing power consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, these windows offer both financial savings and environmental benefits.

  • These windows boast an impressive R-value ranging from R-5.3 to R-6.3, surpassing typical windows with an R-value of R-3.33. 
  • Their triple-pane, argon-filled glass construction, combined with a warm-edge spacer system, ensures top-notch insulation and soundproofing. 
  • Additionally, the windows feature LoĒ3™ 366 coating for enhanced savings and UV protection. 
  • Homeowners can choose from various styles to suit their architectural preferences, including slider, casement, awning, and bow and bay windows. 
  • The triple-insulated glass design meets the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient criteria and provides maximum energy savings, comfort, UV protection, and soundproofing benefits.

When aiming to maximize energy savings through window installations, it's not just about the choice of windows, their positioning within your home plays an equally vital role.

Installation and Placement Strategies To Maximize Your Window’s Energy Efficiency

Here are the best strategies that you, as a homeowner, can utilize to benefit fully from your new energy-saving windows.

1. Window Placement

Understanding the orientation of your home is essential in installing windows effectively. In general, windows facing north could let in less heat and glare, leading to potentially lower heating expenses during winter months. Moreover, south-facing windows are beneficial in colder climates as they allow more sunlight (and therefore warmth) to enter during winter, while in sunnier climates this might cause overheating issues in summer. To avoid such problems, consider applying window treatments or covers like blinds or films that offer solar control.

2. Shading Requirements

Installation without considering shade would result in inefficiency regardless of how advanced your energy-efficient window is. Particularly during sweltering summers, strategic placing of shades over windows could save significantly on air-conditioning costs.

For instance, overhangs placed correctly above south-facing windows deflect high-summer sun away, keeping interiors cooler, leading to less reliance on air conditioners and thus reducing energy use significantly.

3. Window Size

Don't underestimate the impact of window size on energy efficiency. If a window is too large for its placement area, it may lead to quicker heat gain or loss despite having superior insulation properties due to greater surface area exposure.

The correct sizing according to your climate zone with the most suitable glazing should be considered carefully with help from building professionals or thermal performance assessors before the installation process begins.

4. Choose The Right Contractor For Window Installation

Look for window companies with a track record of success in installing high-quality windows. Check for manufacturer certifications or accreditations that demonstrate their expertise and workmanship assurance.

By executing these effective strategies along with picking top-quality energy-efficient models, you'll maximize both monetary savings and environmental benefits. Remember, every little step counts on your journey towards sustainable living.

One more aspect is windows, like any other investment made in your home, need proper maintenance so that they function optimally and last longer.

Maintenance and Care Tips For New Windows

Here are some crucial care guidelines that can go a long way:

Cleaning & Inspections

One of the most basic yet significant steps to maintain your windows is to clean them regularly. Dust and dirt build-up can drastically affect their efficiency over time. Make sure you clean the window sills and tracks as well because neglecting these areas can lead to moisture issues, which might damage the frame materials.

Checking your windows from time to time for marks or framing issues is another critical step. Such flaws may not seem important initially but will eventually compromise thermal efficiency if left unchecked.

Correct Window Operation

If your windows are designed to slide, it's important not to force them open or close. Rough handling can damage the mechanisms and seals, compromising their ability to insulate and protect your home. Instead, take care to operate them gently and smoothly, following any instructions provided by the manufacturer. By using your windows correctly, you can prolong their lifespan and maximize their performance for years to come.

Maintain the Quality of the Caulking

Lastly, maintaining the quality of the caulk or sealant is crucial for energy-efficient glass panes. Caulking protects the windows against unwanted drafts entering the home, providing an extra layer of thermal insulation. Always keep an eye on deteriorating caulk and replace it immediately when needed.

Also Read: What Type Of Caulking Is Best For Windows?

The longevity of any product substantially depends on how it’s maintained and cared for, and energy-conserving windows are no exception. By sticking to these simple upkeep tips, your investment returns will be evident through lower utility bills while you enjoy a much more comfortable living space year-round.

If you want to install new or replacement energy-efficient windows in your home, we can help you select the best model!

Let’s Discuss Your Energy-Efficient Window Installation In Pittsburgh, PA!

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we specialize in installing high-quality windows from leading manufacturers. Explore the best energy-efficient, impact-resistant, and stylish windows for your home in Pittsburgh! Call us at (412) 353-5660 to book a free consultation with our window experts. Choose our team for perfect window installation services in Pittsburgh!

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