For years now there has been talk of energy-efficient windows and when replacement is necessary. Theoretically, they help save money, but how do they actually do it, and is the cost of installing them worth it? What type of technology is added to a normal glass window to make it “energy-efficient” and how do you know when someone is only claiming to sell energy-efficient windows instead of truly providing them? Does location matter? If you are considering replacement windows and live in Dallas or Austin, Texas, how does that differ from other areas of the country?

Replacement Windows for You?

The department of energy has a helpful guide explaining what you should look for in energy efficient windows here. If you’re looking to understand all the ins and outs of what exactly makes a window energy efficient it’s a good place to start.

If you don’t have time to browse all the department of energy has to offer, here are some quick things you should know before going out and buying new windows for your house.

  1. Energy efficient windows are commonly covered with what’s called a Low-E Coating/Glaze. This coating helps deflect ultraviolet rays from the sun away from your house instead of allowing those rays to come in and add extra heat. Often times varying factors, like window placement and typical hot weather in Austin or Dallas, can help give you extra information on what type of coating would be most beneficial to your windows and it may even vary from window to window within your house. They’re also typically double-paned and can be filled with odorless, non-toxic gasses like argon that are denser and help provide more insulation.
  2. Window glass is only part of the equation of overall energy efficiency. A lot of heat can escape or enter your house through the window frames. When looking into windows, ask about spacers and frames. Why get better glass if you’re going to allow air in through old, worn-down frames? There are numerous ways to air seal your home, look here for more tips and general knowledge on fighting air leakage.
  3. It’s hard to know how much money you’ll save using energy-efficient windows. Because houses, their location, climate, and their surroundings vary so much, energy-efficient products will always come with a range of possible savings. This brochure from Energy Star shows the average annual costs they found in a nationwide study as well as information on what states have possible rebate programs.
  4. You can help your windows be more energy-efficient by providing shade. Shade can come in the form of trees, patio coverings or overhangs, and blinds, shutters, shades and more. Especially with larger shading opportunities like trees and patio coverings, the shade provided will not only help your windows but the entire side of the house they’re on. Blinds, shutters, and shades often only help the window itself since they’re so small. Take a look at these different options and see if any of them are right for your home.

Overall, upgrading your windows could be a simple way to add a few more dollars back into your bank account every month. Remember these four points as you start your journey towards energy efficiency and look for the products that will make your home beautiful and cost-effective. Remember that your house is unique and it will need its own unique solution against the sun. Take the time to sit down with a consultant or a representative from a company who will review your house’s needs with you instead of trying to force cookie-cutter window solutions on you for a quick sell. Don’t be afraid to do some research and ask good questions before getting into replacement windows; the people who truly want to help you save money by providing you with better windows won’t mind.