Did you know that, on average, windows can last around 20 years? However, how long your windows last will depend on what kind of windows they are, how well they’ve been installed, and whether or not you’re taking care of them. The lifespan of a window is important because the older a window gets, the less energy efficient it is.
Eventually, the seals around the window will start to weaken and the glass might sustain damage, all leading to less efficiency and more money that you have to spend. So, what should you do if you want more efficient windows? Of course, choosing the right windows in the first place is always important, since certain windows are more efficient than others.
However, there are some other ways in which you can improve an efficient window even more, even if your window is getting older. You can do this in various ways, such as by using weather tape or window films. Keep reading and learn more about how to get the most efficient windows possible.
Why Is It Important to Have Energy-Efficient Windows
You might wonder why it’s important to have energy efficient home windows in the first place. Aren’t regular windows good enough? The thing about efficient windows is that once you get them, you’ll be able to see how much money you’re saving.
Many old windows are not efficient at all. For example, they might only have one pane separating the inside of your house from the outside world. While single-pane windows might be enough to keep out the rain and wind, they certainly are not enough to keep the heat inside your house and the chill outside. This is true if you have damaged windows or windows that haven’t been installed in the right fashion.
The Importance of Good Windows
If there is not a secure seal on your window that can separate the inside of your home from the world outside, you don’t have an energy-efficient window. For that reason, you will find that much of the money you spend on heating or air conditioning will be thrown right out the window, literally and figuratively.
That’s because your non-efficient window isn’t capable of holding in heat or cool air. For that reason, the heating will go right through the window and won’t do a great job at heating up your house. This might lead to you cranking up the heat even more in an attempt to get warm, but to no avail.
But you can solve this problem with energy-efficient windows. They are not all that different than regular windows and they more or less look the same. However, they have the ability to keep the heat inside your home and the outside elements out. For that reason, you can end up saving money with efficient windows in the long run, even if the windows tend to be more expensive than ordinary windows.
Efficient Window Frames
When people think of windows, they tend to think of the glass part of the window. However, a good window consists of more than just the glass; it also includes the frame. Many people don’t realize that the window frame is as important (if not more so) than the glass part of the window itself.
That’s because the window frame is able to provide a lot of insulation when installed in the right manner. Window frames come in all sorts of materials and some materials are better at insulating and providing efficiency than others. For example, vinyl window frames are some of the most popular frames out there.
Vinyl frames are popular not only because they are affordable but because they are very durable as well. Vinyl material, in general, acts as a great insulator. For that reason, you’ll never have to deal with a drafty window when you get vinyl window frames.
Vinyl frames are also very versatile because they can come in all sorts of colors. This is important if you want to make sure that your windows match the rest of your house. One of the few bad things about vinyl frames is that you can’t paint them.
So, if you can’t find a vinyl window frame that matches the rest of your house, you might have to choose a different kind of frame material. Another downside is that while vinyl windows can be durable, they tend not to be as durable as other frames such as fiberglass or aluminum.
Fiberglass frames are also very energy-efficient, especially when compared to more traditional frames such as wood or aluminum. However, fiberglass frames tend to be more expensive than vinyl, so keep that in mind if you’re on a budget.
But window frames are not the only things to consider.
Choosing the right glass for your efficient windows is very important as well. Technically, the way to make your home as energy-efficient as possible would be to remove your windows completely. However, since most people don’t like this idea, thicker and more insulating windows have been invented instead.
As mentioned before, many old windows only consist of a single pane of glass. A single pane of glass is just about the least energy-efficient type of window that you can find. It provides next to no insulation and it tends to be more vulnerable to damage such as cracks.
This is not to mention that moisture is more likely to seep through single-pane windows. Fortunately, most windows today have at least two panes, if not three. The more panes of glass your window has, the more insulated it will be.
The Best Glass
The more insulated the window is, the better it will be able to keep the air (and temperature) inside your house separated from the air outside. The downside is that windows with many panes of glass tend to be more expensive. But don’t worry because you don’t always need to opt for windows with so many panes.
Instead, you could get a very efficient window with panes that are treated in such a way that they become more efficient than if they were untreated. This is a great way to save money if you don’t have the budget to buy windows with several glass panes.
However, if money isn’t an issue for you, there’s no reason not to get windows with multiple panes. The more panes you have, the more efficient your windows will be, especially if each pane is treated to be made even more energy-efficient.
While frames and glass are both important, there is still more to consider.
Ensure That The Window Is Installed Correctly
Even if you buy the most energy-efficient window frame and glass possible, your efforts will be for naught if the windows aren’t installed in the correct fashion. Window installation errors tend to happen when homeowners try to install their windows themselves. Many homeowners believe that they can save themselves money doing this since they won’t have to hire professional window installers.
However, installing your windows yourself is usually not a good idea, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience doing it. Installing windows can be a tricky and detailed process. Watching a few YouTube tutorials can only help you so much and you won’t want to risk making a mistake.
That’s because you might not even realize you’re making a mistake when installing your own windows. The window frame might fit in fine, or so you might think. But on a smaller scale, there might be some gaps between your home and the window frame.
While these gaps are small, they can cause a lot of issues, especially if you’re concerned about your windows being more energy-efficient. That’s because even the smallest gaps can cause drafts in your home. Besides that, they can make it much easier for the heat in your home to seep out into the environment.
Again, this will end up costing you a lot of money, especially in the long run. In the end, installing your own windows usually isn’t worth it unless you already have plenty of experience. Hiring professional window installers is almost always the better option.
They have plenty of experience and can ensure that your windows are installed in the best and most efficient way possible. Even though you will have to pay for professional services, you are actually saving yourself money in the long run.
Do You Have to Replace Your Windows to Make Them Energy-Efficient?
If you want your home to be more energy-efficient, you may or may not have to replace your windows. It will mainly depend on how old your windows are and what kind of windows you already have. It will also depend on the current quality of your windows.
For example, do some of your windows already have cracks in them? Even if the cracks in the glass are very small, you might need to consider replacing the whole window. But why?
Even the smallest of cracks can cause drafts in your home and can make it easier for the heat to leave your home. A crack in the glass compromises the secure seal of the entire window. More than that, it might also introduce moisture not only into the window itself but into your house as well.
Once moisture creeps into your home from the window, it creates the perfect opportunity for mold and rot to take hold. In some cases, termites might even find a way to crawl in and start causing problems, especially if your window frame is made of wood. You should also consider replacing your windows if your windows are very old and are not holding up all that well.
An entire window replacement will immediately make a huge difference in the efficiency of your house. You won’t have to deal with drafts anymore and you won’t have to worry about all of your money flying out the window along with the heat.
But there are some cases in which you might not need to replace your windows completely. For example, your windows still might be relatively new, but you might want to make them a bit more efficient. There are a few ways in which you can pull this off without breaking the bank.
Ways to Make Your Windows More Efficient without Replacement
A window film is the best option if you want to improve the efficiency of your windows without replacing the window itself. Window film usually comes in a sheet that you can smooth onto your windows. Window films may also come in the form of a kit for even easier application.
While window films might not look like much, they are actually packed with the ability to make your windows far more insulated than ever before. You also have the option to use the film on the glass part of the window alone or the glass along with the frame. Using the film over the frame can be a big help if you think that the window wasn’t installed properly.
Weather tape is another great option for the same reason. Weather tape is best for modulating the temperature inside your home. It can be ideal in the summer months when it is too hot outside and you want to keep the cool air inside your home.
It also is very useful for preventing moisture from crawling through your windows, especially during the rainier months.
Everything You Need to Know About the Most Efficient Windows
If you want the most efficient windows you can get your hands on, you will need to consider a few different factors. For example, you will need to think about not only the type of glass you get (and how many panes) but also the window frame and installation.
To learn more, check out the home and design section on our website.