When it comes to choosing windows you have a lot of options available to you. The selection process is no walk in the park either, considering all of the criteria that needs to be factored into your decision.
One of the most important among them is the level of energy efficiency that a window has to offer.
This is crucial for the simple reason that the windows you ultimately choose should not have a direct correlation to any increases you may experience in your home’s energy costs. If you think about the very nature of the design and functionality of the windows in your house, they are essentially large holes in the exterior of the structure. They can open and shut whenever you wish in order to let fresh into your home and look out on the view beyond your window panes.
Since glass has always been a poor insulator and windows have seams both in and around the frame, it’s pretty easy to let your climate-controlled air escape from inside the walls of your abode. Some windows are built to be more energy efficient than others and it will take no small amount of research on your part to identify the brand and type of window that suits you best matching the personal requirements for finding the right choice for your home.
While there are many window types for you to choose from, double-hung windows are among the most common selected by homeowners just like you. But are they a strong energy-efficient option or should you look elsewhere in that department?
Let’s discuss these windows so you may then determine if they are the best option for your needs:
How They Work
Double-hung windows are the most traditional option available. They look and function like your average everyday window in that the bottom and top sashes are separate from one another. The bottom one lifts and lowers while the top one remains in place. Although that is the more common version of a this window, there are versions in which both sashes slide up and down.
Choosing Double-hung Windows
Due to their traditional appearance, double-hung windows are well-suited for just about any type of home. They’re also some of the most simple windows to operate as all it takes to open or close one is to simply unlock and lift up the sash. When you’re done and you want the window closed again, you just push it back down into place. Nothing could be simpler.
That makes these windows the ideal choice for homes that do not have an HVAC system and the only form of air conditioning available is to install one in your window. Of course, you may lose some energy efficiency due to the bottom sash not meeting the exterior of the unit completely flush.
Even the sides of your air conditioner may leave a negligible gap through which your cool air might escape. That’s why you need to be careful about placing some kind of insulation or padding on all sides of your air conditioning unit so that the window is air-tight.
Energy Efficient Windows
So are double-hung windows a good option for energy efficiency? They can be, but you need to take care to purchase the most energy efficient versions on the market. The windows that are currently on your house may be double-hung but they may not be a good energy efficient option.
That’s because old windows can have leaks. Those leaks allow the air in your home to seep out, forcing you to run your heater or air conditioner longer than necessary. Once you are able to close all of the gaps and cracks that exist in and around your windows, then you are already getting greater energy efficiency from your windows.
The best way to do just that is to replace old windows with newer ones that offer additional energy efficient advantages. That includes buying windows that come with multiple panes of glass that use argon gas in between them. The gas acts as insulation to prevent warm air from passing through to the outside.
In addition, newer double-hung windows can be treated with a low-e coating which also works to slow heat from getting into the home due to the UV rays that come with direct sunlight. When that heat is prevented from getting in your house, you don’t need to operate your air conditioner as long. This keeps your energy costs down and the home more energy efficient.