5 Tips for Choosing Your Energy-Efficient Windows

Check out our smart window selection tips

Understand how you can make a smart choice to achieve long-term value with energy-efficient windows.

1. The Disadvantages of Low-Quality Windows

Windows can have a great impact on the overall energy efficiency of a building. Cheaper windows can become more expensive than they first appear. Also, poor-performing windows require a better HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system, which is not only pricier to install but also more costly in the long run.

Traditional Window Replacement in Conservation Areas
Sliding Sash Windows Replacement to Upgrade Energy Efficiency

Builders and homeowners might not be sure about the energy costs of a building, but everybody responds to comfort. When a homeowner notices drafty windows, condensation, or overheating rooms in the Summer, it can be tracked down to underperforming windows. The heat transfer in the rooms is much quicker due to low-quality windows, which decreases the effectiveness of the heating and cooling systems, creating a cascade effect on the costs of the project.

2. Window Options and Performance

Windows are available in a wide array of opening types, styles and designs. To understand their energy attributes, you have to think about their operation. Windows can swing outwards or inwards (casements, awnings, tilt & turn), and slide sideways or vertically (sash windows).

Although the compression seals for insulation are more advantageous in swinging windows than in sliding ones, you might consider the aesthetics choices to match the style of the building or even add some casement windows to the project.

Mix of Contemporary Windows with Traditional Sash
Traditional Sliding Sash with a Mix of Casement Windows and Fixed Top Rounded Units

3. Window Material Matters

After choosing functionality, the window frame material has the highest effect on price and performance. The frame not only impacts a window’s thermal performance but also offers durability and weather resistance.

The most appropriate window material depends on the environmental conditions of the region where the building is located. Hence, the durability of claddings and finishes will vary.

4. Energy-Efficient Window Glazing

The glass (glazing) is a crucial element in your window performance. A wide range of glazing configurations and coatings offer optimised thermal levels. These configurations are a combination of high-tech coatings, films, spacer bars, and low emissivity gases that are inserted into the window glazing.

Sash Window Hardware Lock
Cardinal Standard Double Glazing with Low-E and Argon Gas

Double glazing windows are a significant step to improve energy-efficiency and to reduce the U-Value – in other words, the amount of heat a window lets through. Read more about double glazed windows here.

The next step to achieve even lower U-Values is to specify triple glazed windows. Although some designers and builders rely on triple glazing for their low-energy projects, these windows are usually too costly for many clients. For that reason, experts recommend looking for more cost-effective solutions to improve a building’s energy efficiency before choosing triple glazed units.

5. Window Solutions That Give You Long-term Value

Remember that performance, comfort and value aren’t only about energy-efficiency. Windows that aren’t strong and installed properly won’t deliver the desired performance. Choosing the right windows will give you peace of mind when it comes to smooth operation, quality and durability. Today’s technology provides homeowners with choices that will save energy, resist the weather, and function as though the windows are new for decades.

Click on the link below to learn more about this completed project where the original sliding sash windows were replaced to upgrade the overall energy efficiency of the building.

Window Replacement to Improve Energy Efficiency

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Cardinal News

Excellent quality and very reliable lead times at a fair price. Would highly recommend Cardinal Windows to anyone looking for traditional styled windows.

- Dermot Long - Dublin

I ordered 15 sliding sash windows for my home refurbishment project and had my builder install the windows for me. I think I spent hours playing around with the different design options on the window builder! I absolutely love my new windows!

- Rachel Chalke - London