Save Energy and Money with Dual Pane Windows

A significant energy output in the home is heating and cooling. Most energy waste in this category is lost through openings in the building’s shell – this is called fenestration. Single pane windows are notorious for allowing heat or cool air to escape. Dual pane windows offer a great way to reduce energy loss and to make your home more comfortable by insulating against noise and drafts. Dual pane windows refer to two sheets of glass with an air space between them. The space is then filled with a vacuum or some type of gas that keeps air from passing through the second piece of glass.

Dual Pane Windows and the U-Factor

When evaluating dual pane windows for the home, something to consider is what Energy Star terms the “U-factor.” A window’s thermal performance – which can be measured at the center of the glass, at the edge of the glass and at the frame – is rated with this U-factor, which evaluates the window’s overall ability to resist heat flow. When looking at the U-factor number, it is important to note that the lower the number is, the better and more energy efficient dual pane windows are. Triple pane windows may offer an even lower U-factor. In addition to the U-Factor, homeowners should also note what type of frames are used and what types of sealants are used in order to evaluate durability of product.

Dual Pane Windows, Savings, and Tax Credits

In addition to lower energy consumption, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from nearby power plants and a house’s overall reduced carbon footprint, replacement of old single pane windows with dual pane windows can reduce household energy bills by 7-15 percent. Though estimated savings will vary by area, climate and current heating and cooling costs, Energy Star values the average annual savings from replacing windows with dual pane windows at $146 to $501. In 2010 a new law was signed that includes a tax credit for energy efficient windows, doors and skylights. The tax credit is equal to 10% of the cost of the product (but does not include installation costs) up to $200 for eligible windows including dual pane windows.

Dual Pane Window Manufacturers

Manufacturers of dual pane windows that are members of the efficient window collaborative are committed to producing energy efficient windows. Some of the most well-known manufacturers of energy efficient dual pane windows include Pella, Jeld-wen, Thermastar, and Andersen. These manufacturers have been producing whole fenestration products for many years and are considered industry leaders. Before purchasing double pane windows from any manufacturer, make sure to compare prices, ask about installation, find out about warranties and guarantees and review ratings from previous customers. Also, find out if the products are Energy Star approved and eligible for the tax credit. Finally, pay attention to the design of the window, the casing or frames and choose something you can live with and love for many years to come.

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