Cantor’s Corner: Energy Efficient Windows For Your Home
by Gregg Cantor
Resident Expert, The Home Pro Show
President, Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
There are various types and styles of energy efficient windows to consider. They come in vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, wood, clad and even recycled materials. Always consider the natural climate of where you live and evaluate the performance, security and architectural options when choosing windows.
If the entire window is being replaced, then the older frame is simply replaced by the new, energy efficient window. You can always take this opportunity to fix any weather-related, or rainwater issues that may have occurred. Be sure to properly seal the new window frame into place so it doesn’t let any inside air escape. This option works well if you are planning to apply new stucco, woodwork, stone or brick.
In a straight retrofit installation, the existing frame–or flashing–is left in place and the new window is fitted to encapsulate the existing one. The new energy efficient window is placed into this opening and caulked into place. This option works best if you do not have to worry about any previous water damage, weather damage, or sealing issues.
Once you have decided whether or not to replace the entire frame or use retrofit windows, consider all the options in each category, including frame material, glass type, finish and hardware.
Energy Efficient Windows
Regardless of the type of energy-efficient window you choose, make sure it has been tested by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). This entity tests and certifies windows based on the window’s energy performance rating. Also, check to make sure that your energy efficient windows are EnergyStar certified. EnergyStar-certified windows qualify for the IRS’s energy-efficiency tax rebate. Windows carrying the EnergyStar logo can work up to 20% more efficiently than other windows.
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