Don’t let inefficient windows be a “pane”
Summer has arrived in Texas and by now, most of us are doing everything we can to keep the inside of our homes comfortable. A recent blog provided helpful information on running your AC efficiently, and while our recommended temperature setting on your thermostat is 78 degrees when you are home, looking at your windows to ensure they are not an additional culprit of heat gain and high energy bills is another step you can take to make sure you are staying as cool as possible. I interviewed Moses Torres, owner of Window Source of SA, to enlighten us on windows and the benefits they can have on our house when having them replaced.
Me: What are some of the signs I should look for that tell me it may be time to replace my windows?
Moses: The number one thing is going to be draft- if you notice a lot of heat gain through your windows, it may be time to replace them. If your aluminum frame windows are hot to the touch, that’s an indication of inefficient windows. Also, when touching glass, glass should be warm but not hot. In the winter, you’ll notice condensation between the panes and/or water build up on the window sill.
Me: What type of window encasement material do you recommend?
Moses: We recommend a vinyl product. Vinyl is not a conductor. Aluminum frames are a conductor and can radiate outside heat into your home. Additionally, if you have single pane glass, that will result in quicker heat gain into your home. Vinyl is less conductive. This will help mitigate or slow down any heat trying to make its way into the house.
Me: What are the benefits of double pane windows with argon gas?
Moses: Argon gas acts as an insulator between the two panes of glass. However, glass expands and contracts through the hot and cold seasons. This can result in seal failure allowing the argon gas to escape. This is evident if you’ve ever seen moisture build up between the two panes of glass. When this happens, the windows are not performing as they should. It’s best to have the window replaced.
Me: What can you tell me about storm windows?
Moses: Storm windows add an extra layer of glass but may not always improve your energy efficiency. What you need to look for is a low emissivity (low-e) coating and ensure double pane windows have argon gas. Low-e is a reflective material added to the glass that blocks UV and infrared light from passing through while allowing visible light in.
As you have read, windows are an important part of keeping your energy bills affordable. If it’s within your budget, upgrading windows is certainly an option you might want to consider if you are looking to save money on your electric bill. Upgrading windows can also make your home more comfortable, meaning bumping up the thermostat to 78 is an easier adjustment.
Replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows lowers household energy bills by an average of 12 percent nationwide. Lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and homes.
With the many varieties of windows and frames, it’s always a good idea to do your homework and research exactly what you’re getting for your money.
To take advantage of available tax credits, be sure to visit energystar.gov for information.
For information on other ways to save money, visit cpsenergy.com/tips.
A special thank you to our subject matter expert for helping with content for this blog. CPS Energy does not promote or recommend contractors or vendors. Instead, customers are encouraged to seek several quotes for services.