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Several panes alone offer enhanced insulation, but contemporary window glass also includes a low-emissivity coating (called a low-e coating), which “reduces total direct sunlight rays by 13 percent.” Low-e glass should also decrease your month-to-month energy prices, as it reduces heat gain in the summer and comprises warmth in the winter.

Keller adds that in multipaned windows, “inert gases frequently fill the spaces between the panes, providing additional properties that are sustainable” With each extra pane and coating of gasoline, the insulation factor notches upward. Better-insulated windows typically have a higher price tag, but their energy efficiency cuts down monthly utility bills; over the long run, a homeowner may recoup the additional expense and might even come out ahead.

Also valuable to anybody shopping for new windows would be the ratings provided by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). Any window that has earned a score from the NFRC could be expected to perform in temperatures between -20º F to 180º F and at wind speeds up to 155 mph.

WINDOW MATERIALS

While the materials selected for a window frame do affect its thermal characteristics, they play a much bigger part in determining its physical attributes, such as depth, weight, and durability.

Wood: Prized for their aesthetic value, wood-framed windows are offered in a number of sizes and shapes. If properly maintained, they could enjoy a long life, rewarding energy-conscious homeowners using a high R-value (a measure of thermal resistance).

Wood clad: If a single drawback of conventional wood-framed windows is their maintenance requirements, vinyl- or aluminum-clad wood windows provide the best of both worlds–that is, the warm look of wood on the inside and enhanced weather resistance on the outside.

The tradeoff between the two isn’t only one of design, but also of performance: Aluminum is more prone to condensation, which may in some instances lead to mold.

Vinyl: A durable, low-maintenance window substance that resists moisture, vinyl prices significantly less than wood, and even though it can’t be painted, vinyl windows can be found in a wide assortment of stock colours and a virtually infinite variety of custom colors.