One subject that many people are concerned about is how to make their homes as energy-efficient as possible. Energy-efficient homes are important because they can save money on heating and cooling while reducing a home’s carbon footprint. Although large windows are beautiful, they can be your biggest source of heat and energy loss and higher heating bills.
The place where energy seems to be wasted the most in the home is a lack of proper insulation. Most of the time the largest source of poor insulation is the existence of large windows. Large windows CAN be energy efficient though.
Energy-Efficient Options for Large Windows
Below are three ways you can save money and contribute to the health of the planet, simply by changing the way you light your home.
1. Maximize the energy efficiency of your large windows
Windows don’t make good insulators and are a major source of wasted energy in many buildings. Of course, windows are necessary if you want to live comfortably, admire nature or the outside world, and not feel like you live in a dark cave.
If you live or work in an older building, chances are your large windows are not as energy efficient as they could be. The windows installed in many older buildings have been crafted with thin glass and poorly insulated frames.
Thin glass has a tendency to let the outside temperature affect the inside temperature because it conducts cold and hot air. When it’s hot outside it’s hot inside. And, when it’s cold outside, it’s cold inside. Having thin windows is like having a hole in the wall covered by a thin sheet.
If you want your rooms to hold a decent temperature, you can change the type of glass you use for your windows, or you can tint your windows with a thin film that also provides UV protection.
Another way to insulate older, thinner windows is to buy a small roll of weather stripping at your local hardware store.
2. Get fiberglass window frames
Depending on your budget, you may want to consider replacing your large windows with double-paned windows framed in fiberglass. The construction of the window and the frame material are important in maintaining the temperature in your home.
While window frames are made from various materials such as lightweight aluminum, vinyl, wood, and clad-wood, your best option is going to be made from fiberglass.
First, fiberglass window frames have a longer life expectancy than other materials. This is important because windows aren’t convenient to replace. Wood frames can last between 15-20 years, and aluminum frames can last 30-40 years. Fiberglass frames can last over 80 years without maintenance.
Fiberglass window frames also the most energy efficient. According to Karlyn Knafo, the product developer from Fibertec Windows and Doors, “They hold in heat, keep cold air out of your building and allow you to cut down on your energy bills immediately upon installation.”
The lightweight, low-maintenance energy efficiency of fiberglass window frames is the obvious choice for long-term sustainability.
3. Use passive solar heating
Passive solar heating collects, stores and distributes the heat of the sun to reduce the need for central heat and space heaters. Using this pre-existing heat is a responsible way to create sustainability in your home while saving money.
Passive vs. active solar heating
There is a difference between active and passive solar heating. Passive solar heating utilizes the heat from the sun and requires no mechanical devices (like a greenhouse.) While active solar heating utilizes the actual rays of the sun and converts it into electricity through mechanical devices.
How passive solar heating works
Passive solar heating collects energy and stores it in building materials like concrete slabs, brick walls, and tile floors. After the energy has been collected, it’s distributed naturally into the living space through convection and radiation.
The best way to achieve maximum efficiency is to incorporate the system into the design of the building. This ensures that windows and roof overhangs are placed to extract the maximum amount of efficiency for the system to function at full capability.
Since passive solar heating systems are affordable to implement, this is a great method to use in any building to save money on your energy bills.
If you love to let the light in and want to do it in a sustainable way, request your free quote today from the Pella window installation experts at John McCarter – we’ll give you a competitive price quote for your project.