Residential Energy Credits | Energy-Efficient Windows | Energy Tax Credits

As much of the country prepares for the upcoming winter season, it is a great time to take advantage of the residential energy tax credits that are available.  One of these credits is set to expire at the end of 2013, so get it before it is gone.

There are two residential energy credits that are currently available: the residential energy property credit (Sec. 25C); and the residential energy efficiency property credit (Sec. 25D).  Currently, the Sec. 25C credit expires at the end of this year, while the Sec. 25D credit is available through 2016.

Property that qualifies for the Sec. 25C credit includes certain insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows/doors and energy-efficient HVAC systems, among others.  Examples of property that qualifies for the Sec. 25D credit include solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps and wind turbines, among others.  The qualified property for both credits must be purchased, not leased.

Both of the credits are nonrefundable personal tax credits and can offset both regular tax and AMT.  Only the Sec. 25C credit can be carried forward to future tax years.  The Sec. 25C credit is 10% of the amount paid or incurred for the qualified energy improvements installed during the year.  The Sec. 25D credit is 30% of the amount paid for the qualified energy-efficient property during the year.  Keep in mind that the Sec. 25C credit does have a lifetime limitation of $500 (of which only $200 may be attributable to windows). 

IRS Notices 2009-41, 2009-53 and 2013-70 have additional details about both credits and explain what property qualifies for each.

Interested in learning more tax tips? Contact Eric Ingalls, a Schneider Downs Tax Manager, at eingalls@schneiderdowns.com.

© 2013 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

This content was originally published here.

Inert gas used in energy-efficient windows – crossword puzzle clues

Now we are looking on the crossword clue for: Inert gas used in energy-efficient windows.
it’s A 42 letters crossword puzzle definition.
Next time, try using the search term “Inert gas used in energy-efficient windows crossword” or “Inert gas used in energy-efficient windows crossword clue” when searching for help with your puzzle on the web. See the possible answers for Inert gas used in energy-efficient windows below.

Did you find what you needed?
We hope you did!. If you are still unsure with some definitions, don’t hesitate to search them here with our crossword puzzle solver.

Possible Answers: Argon.

New Crossword clues and help App now available in the App Store and Google Play Store!
Crossword clues app Android Crossword clues app iphone iOs

Random information on the term “Argon”:

Industrial gases are gaseous materials that are manufactured for use in industry. The principal gases provided are nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon, hydrogen, helium and acetylene; although a huge variety of gases and mixtures are available in gas cylinders. The industry producing these gases is known as the industrial gases industry, which is seen as also encompassing the supply of equipment and technology to produce and use the gases.[1] Their production is a part of the wider chemical Industry (where industrial gases are often seen as “specialty chemicals”).

Industrial gases are used in a wide range of industries, which include oil and gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, power, mining, steelmaking, metals, environmental protection, medicine, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food, water, fertilizers, nuclear power, electronics and aerospace. Industrial gas is sold to other industrial enterprises; typically comprising large orders to corporate industrial clients, covering a size range from building a process facility or pipeline down to cylinder gas supply.

This content was originally published here.

Sioux Falls Windows from 1-800-HANSONS are the Best Replacement Windows You Can Buy.

Windows Sioux Falls, South Dakota

1-800-HANSONS is proud to bring our great quality and prices to the Sioux Falls area. With over 165,000 satisfied customers across the country, 1-800-HANSONS is your best partner for all of your window, siding and roofing needs. We Are the Best Value!

Our high-efficiency replacement windows will keep your Sioux Falls home warmer at a much lower price, while at the same time, they will make your home in to the showcase you want it to be.

Replacing your old drafty windows is one of the most effective methods of reducing your monthly energy costs. Heat loss from poorly insulated windows can represent a significant portion of your bill. Let a 1-800-HANSONS replacement window expert show you just how much of your energy budget is literally flying out the window, before this year’s winter season begins!

We know that everyone is looking for the best discount they can find for their replacement windows in Sioux Falls, and that’s why 1-800-HANSONS offers window lines to fit within any budget. Yes, you can get the best quality at a low price, when you choose 1-800-HANSONS to Get It Done!

What Our Customers Are Saying

Replacement windows: “Very pleased with Hanson’s in every phase of both projects they were hired to do, from Sales, Project Management and Installation. They communicated well throughout the projects, and there were no surprises. I recommend Hanson’s and will contact them again for consideration of future projects.”


Replacement Window Installation


Date published: 10/4/2018



5 / 5 stars

Window Styles in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

1-800-HANSONS offers many types of replacement windows. Our Sioux Falls customers can choose from the

Sioux Falls, South Dakota Office

1-800-HANSONS of Sioux Falls

Office Hours Are:

Monday 7AM – 10:30PM
Tuesday 7AM – 10:30PM
Wednesday 7AM – 10:30PM
Thursday 7AM – 10:30PM
Friday 7AM – 10:30PM
Saturday 7AM – 10:30PM
Sunday 7AM – 10:30PM
43.5251372 -96.7308764

At Home with 1-800-HANSONS

Pride is one of the things that makes the USA the greatest nation in the world. Americans work hard to buy their homes, and expect value from their home improvements. When you order vinyl replacement windows from Hansons, you are buying an American-Made product. We take pride in the work we do, and share in your sense of accomplishment when we see the results. We can’t wait to show you how our replacement windows will make your home brighter and look new again.

This content was originally published here.

Salt Lake City Windows from 1-800-HANSONS are the Best Replacement Windows You Can Buy.

Windows Salt Lake City, Utah

1-800-HANSONS is proud to bring our great quality and prices to the Salt Lake City area. With over 165,000 satisfied customers across the country, 1-800-HANSONS is your best partner for all of your window, siding and roofing needs. We Are the Best Value!

Our high-efficiency replacement windows will keep your Salt Lake City home warmer at a much lower price, while at the same time, they will make your home in to the showcase you want it to be.

Replacing your old drafty windows is one of the most effective methods of reducing your monthly energy costs. Heat loss from poorly insulated windows can represent a significant portion of your bill. Let a 1-800-HANSONS replacement window expert show you just how much of your energy budget is literally flying out the window, before this year’s winter season begins!

We know that everyone is looking for the best discount they can find for their replacement windows in Salt Lake City, and that’s why 1-800-HANSONS offers window lines to fit within any budget. Yes, you can get the best quality at a low price, when you choose 1-800-HANSONS to Get It Done!

What Our Customers Are Saying

Replacement windows: “The crew for our window installation was done by true craftsmen, a professional at it’s best. Plus the aluminum trim around the existing opening is superb!! If we need any more work to be done, we will request the team of Dave &Bob. Job well done” Replacement Window Installation

Date published: 9/9/2018


5 / 5 stars

Window Styles in Salt Lake City, Utah

1-800-HANSONS offers many types of replacement windows. Our Salt Lake City customers can choose from the

Salt Lake City, Utah Office

1-800-HANSONS of Salt Lake City

Office Hours Are:

Monday 7AM – 10:30PM
Tuesday 7AM – 10:30PM
Wednesday 7AM – 10:30PM
Thursday 7AM – 10:30PM
Friday 7AM – 10:30PM
Saturday 7AM – 10:30PM
Sunday 7AM – 10:30PM

At Home with 1-800-HANSONS

Pride is one of the things that makes the USA the greatest nation in the world. Americans work hard to buy their homes, and expect value from their home improvements. When you order vinyl replacement windows from Hansons, you are buying an American-Made product. We take pride in the work we do, and share in your sense of accomplishment when we see the results. We can’t wait to show you how our replacement windows will make your home brighter and look new again.

This content was originally published here.

What Do Custom Replacement Windows Cost—and How Much Energy Do They Save? – Bell Brothers

I have a friend who absolutely hates surprises. This old buddy of mine just has never really been one for surprise parties, or for unexpected changes of plans, or even for people randomly dropping by his house without calling first (I know that last one from experience). I’ve always kind of wondered why. So, one day I just flat out asked him. He told me that he’s just always been a man who likes to be prepared, regardless of what he’s doing.

You know, what? I can understand that because that’s definitely the way I feel when it comes to maintaining my home. I myself love a good surprise party or a spontaneous change of plans. But when it comes to things like my HVAC, plumbing, or a whole-home window replacement, I want to know all that I can about what to expect. My sense is that the vast majority of homeowners out there are also this way. That’s why I want to talk about custom replacement windows costs, both in terms of installation expenditures and how much energy—and therefore money—they can ultimately save you.

Living in the Sacramento metro area, we’re lucky enough to be eligible for a number of no interest financing programs that can help taper custom replacement windows cost up front. I think it really benefits homeowners to plan ahead and take advantage of these programs. My suspicion is that once you know how much energy and utility bill money you can save with new custom windows, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t look into this sooner!

Custom Replacement Windows Cost: The 411 on Project Expenses

I think the most common question that homeowners interested in replacing their old windows with double pane ones ask me is: What do custom replacement windows cost? The answer is that it really does vary quite a bit depending on a number of factors, including how many windows you need to replace, how many stories your home is, whether the windows are going into existing structurally-sound frames, and so on and so on. In general, though, I estimate that, in the Sacramento region, a single story home with three bedrooms and roughly 10 windows will cost between $3,000 and $7,000.

I estimate that, in the Sacramento region, a single story home with three bedrooms and roughly 10 windows will cost between $3,000 and $7,000.

how much do custom replacement windows cost in Sacramento?Now, as I mentioned above, this can vary depending on those other factors. If you have fewer bedrooms or windows, that cost is very likely to go down. If, however, you have more bedrooms, more windows, or additional stories, it’s likely to go up. A trained custom window installation and replacement company would be happy to give you a free in-home estimate in most cases, so I highly recommend giving a local service team a call. They can also tell you about how investing in those new windows will save you on energy and on your utility costs, which we’ll go into further in the next section.

How Much Energy—and Money— Do Custom Replacement Windows Save?

One of the other things I often talk about when discussing how much custom replacement windows cost is the amount of energy homeowners can save by investing in the right windows, specifically by investing in double pane options. Now, in the past, we’ve discussed the benefits of double pane windows and we’ve talked about how double pane windows work. This is all valuable information, though, so I think it’s well worth repeating.

…the U.S. Department of Energy reports an average reduction in household heating and cooling costs by about $500 annually when homes have double pane windows installed.

Double pane windows are part of a whole-house approach to energy efficiency because they are insulated in a way that stops conditioned air from leaking out of your home. This saves your HVAC system from having to expend extra energy to condition more air. It varies by individual home, of course, but the U.S. Department of Energy reports an average reduction in household heating and cooling costs by about $500 annually when homes have double pane windows installed. Simply put, investing in double pane windows can save real money on your monthly heating and cooling bills.

How California’s Financing Programs Help Offset Custom Window Replacement Costs

So, you now have an average price in your head about how much custom replacement windows cost. And, you also know how much you stand to save by investing in them. At this point, most homeowners are pretty excited about the notion of having custom replacement windows installed for their homes. The last question then becomes: How can I afford the cost to replace my old windows with custom ones right now?

Well, fortunately for us, in Northern California there are some great window replacement financing options to pick from. Home energy efficiency financing programs like SMUD, HERO, PACE, CaliforniaFIRST, and Ygrene Energy Efficiency are all designed to help homeowners make upgrades that bring their houses in line with whole-home energy efficiency techniques. These programs, however, can be a bit tricky, which is why I highly recommend working with an experienced custom replacement windows installation company that can answer any questions you may have, help you navigate your financing options, and ultimately get the work done for you, too.

I think it’s a great thing to be a careful planner, especially when it comes to making upgrades to and maintenance decisions about your home. You should always have a good idea of what options are available for you, and what price range you can expect. That’s just smart thinking. You should also plan to work with an experienced window installation expert.

Here at Bell Brothers, we have all the expertise you need to make sure that you get the best possible financing option for your home. We are also experts when it comes to the financing programs available in our area, and we’d be happy to help you find one that works best for you. So, plan on, my friends— just make sure to plan to make Bell Brothers a key part of your next custom replacement windows job!

At Bell Brothers, our trained installation professionals would be delighted to help you select and install custom energy efficient windows to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and to get answers to your questions about custom replacement windows cost.

Wondering how to finance new windows—or even a furnace or plumbing upgrade? SMUD is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a SMUD-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local window, HVAC, and plumbing specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

Image courtesy Artazum LLC

This content was originally published here.

Energy Efficient Windows Industry Assessment & Market Growth Evolution Forecast 2023 – Business News

Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Inc., Marvin Windows and Doors, Inc., Milguard Manufacturing, Inc., and Pella Corporation are some of the key producers of energy efficient windows from a global perspective, reports Transparency Market Research in a new study. These players held large shares in the global energy efficient windows revenue in 2015 and are expected to dominate the market for the coming years as well.

Request Sample Report @ https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=S&rep_id=2047

The competitive scenario in the energy efficient windows market is teeming with strategic initiatives high due to the presence of a large number of players. Most key players are consolidating their position by forming long-term strategic partnerships.

The threat of new entrants to energy efficient windows production is expected to be high over the next few years, due to the increased government support given to the players in many countries. Additionally, there already exists a large base of investors ready to provide capital to promising players in energy efficient windows.

Energy Efficient Windows Seeing Greater Demand Due to Growing Energy Saving Regulations

A large number of countries are in the midst of regulatory reforms that will cut down their national carbon footprint. Countries such as China, Russia, the U.S., and most European nations are buckling down on energy efficiency improvement methods. China for instance has set a goal of cutting down its carbon footprint by 40% to 45% between 2005 and 2020.

Energy efficient windows form a crucial factor in this endeavor, thereby offering players not only a higher demand from these regions, but also a greater level of support from governments and private investors.

Read Report Overview @ https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/energy-efficient-windows-market.html

High Initial Investments Dilute Interest in Energy Efficient Windows

“Energy efficient windows can be an intensive investment, as customers have found out,” states a TMR analyst. “The cost of energy efficient windows can rage anywhere between US$115 to US$1,000 for every square meter including the cost of labor. Therefore, the higher quality energy efficient windows are somewhat out of bounds for several construction companies and users, especially in the emerging economies.”

The cost of energy efficient windows can rise this fast with quality due to the use of expensive raw materials, such as krypton gas. Additionally, the use of a few windows will not make a significant enough contribution to the energy savings of a building. For the most optimum effect, all the windows of a building need to be energy efficient windows. Lower cost energy efficient windows generally use argon as an insulator, which reduces the efficiency of the window by a significant degree.

About Us

Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a global market intelligence company providing business information reports and services. The company’s exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trend analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR’s experienced team of analysts, researchers, and consultants use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather and analyze information.

TMR’s data repository is continuously updated and revised by a team of research experts so that it always reflects the latest trends and information. With extensive research and analysis capabilities, Transparency Market Research employs rigorous primary and secondary research techniques to develop distinctive data sets and research material for business reports.

Contact

Transparency Market Research

State Tower,

90 State Street,

Suite 700,

Albany NY – 12207

United States

Tel: +1-518-618-1030

USA – Canada Toll Free: 866-552-3453

Email: sales@transparencymarketresearch.com

Website: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com

This content was originally published here.

Do Energy-Efficient Windows Increase Your Home’s Value?

Generally speaking, yes; New energy-efficient windows do increase home value. The amount of the increase varies case by case, but most homeowners can expect their home’s value to increase by roughly 60-80 percent of the cost of the window replacement. For example, for a window replacement that costs $5,000, homeowners may see an increase in home value of around $3,000 or $4,000. Again, this number is not set in stone, but window replacement can be a valuable investment, especially if you invest in modern, energy-efficient windows. That’s because they may also reduce costs on monthly energy bills. Between these potential savings and increased home resale value, the decision to replace your windows is an easy one. So, when it comes time to consider window replacement, place your trust in a company that offers top-quality, energy-efficient windows and reliable installations.

Beldon® – Energy-Saving Windows & Professional Installations

Beldon Windows are some of the finest, most modern, and energy-efficient windows on the market. They feature vinyl frames with airtight insulating chambers and Low-E insulating glass technology. Both of these characteristics are designed to reduce heat and energy transfer into and out of your home. This helps to lessen the burden placed on your HVAC system to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the year, which may lead to reduced monthly energy costs. And, Beldon Windows are available in single-, double-, and triple-pane options to fit your needs and budget.

Additionally, our energy-efficient windows are installed by experts. The installers we send out to our projects are experienced, drug-tested, e-verified, and trained in both skills and safety. In fact, they always measure twice and ensure your new windows fit perfectly in the allotted space. This eliminates the potential for air drafts, which maximizes the energy efficiency of your new windows.

We are so confident in both our windows and installations that we offer some of the best guarantees in the industry. Every window and frame we install is protected by a lifetime warranty, and if any pane breaks, we’ll come out to your home and replace it at no cost.

Contact Beldon Today

If you’re ready to replace your home’s windows, potentially increase your home’s resale value, and reduce monthly energy costs, contact Beldon today. We’ll gladly provide you with more information and educate you on the financing possibilities available to secure the best payment option for you and ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

The post Do Energy-Efficient Windows Increase Your Home’s Value? appeared first on Beldon.

This content was originally published here.

how much to replace one window – 28 images – don t replace those windows before you try window, how much do new sliding glass doors cost prestigenoir, everything you need to about replacement windows pdf, how much do replacement windows cost hipages au, don t replace those windows before you try window

how much to replace one window – how much does it cost to replace windows angies list .

how much to replace one window – ppt how much does it cost to replace a window glass in .

how much to replace one window – how much does it cost to replace windows window doors .

how much to replace one window – don t replace those windows before you try window .

how much to replace one window – how much do bay windows cost modernize .

how much to replace one window – window glass replacement cost 5 things you must .

how much to replace one window – how much does it cost to replace dual pane window .

how much to replace one window – how much do new sliding glass doors cost prestigenoir .

how much to replace one window – don t replace those windows before you try window .

how much to replace one window – cost to fix a window how to replace ss in a pane .

how much to replace one window – how much does it cost to cut a window .

how much to replace one window – window replacement costs for 2016 apartment geeks .

how much to replace one window – how much does it cost to replace a front door nu look .

how much to replace one window – how to install new windows with wood siding everything .

how much to replace one window – how much does it cost to install a new front door angie .

how much to replace one window – how much does vinyl siding cost for mobile home www .

how much to replace one window – everything you need to about replacement windows pdf .

how much to replace one window – welcome to casa dwyer who and how much replacement .

how much to replace one window – window repair replacing a spiral window balance in a non .

how much to replace one window – how much do home replacement windows cost simonton .

how much to replace one window – laundry room ideas for baskets cabinets and racks .

how much to replace one window – replacement windows how much do replacement window .

how much to replace one window – 10 best replacement windows how much do they cost images .

how much to replace one window – how much does siding cost to replace angie s list .

how much to replace one window – how much do replacement windows cost hipages au .

This content was originally published here.

25% OFF all of our Energy Efficient Windows Mention this ad when you call Tim at 563-322-1746

Details for 25% OFF all of our Energy Efficient Windows Mention this ad when you call Tim at 563-322-1746

With over 29 years of experience, and three generations of contractors, TVC Home Improvements has the skills and the know-how to handle all your Home Improvement projects! Call today to schedule your free consultation! 1-866-322-1754

TVC Home Improvements

1219 S. Concord St. 
Davenport, Iowa (IA) 52802

    This content was originally published here.

    Who Makes the Best Replacement Windows for California Homes? – Bell Brothers

    I talk to enough homeowners in my line of work as a window installation expert to know that picking out products these days—whether you’re buying a new TV or a new set of windows—is more stressful than it’s ever been before. The world wide web of online shopping has opened the door for about two bajillion different ways to get product information. Heck, some folks I know can’t even go out to eat in Sacramento without reading a dozen reviews on Yelp first!

    When it comes to replacement windows for your home, though, there’s a surprising lack of information online about which windows are best, specifically about who makes the best replacement windows—and whether or not you need custom ones. If you Google it, sure, just about every window company you come across is going to try and tell you that they alone have the best fit. Let me tell you that, the simple truth is, the type of window that’s best for your home really depends on a wide array of individual specifications.

    …the simple truth is, the type of window that’s best for your home really depends on a wide array of individual specifications.

    This is why today I’d like to talk about the best replacement windows, who makes them, and why finding the perfect contractor is what will pull it all together for your unique home. Windows are the eyes of your home, but they’re also a valuable part of a whole home approach to energy efficiency. If you’re considering a window replacement job, make sure you do all you can to get the right help in finding the best replacement windows for your unique house.

    Who Makes the Best Replacement Windows?

    Even with all the new online review systems, I still generally refer to experts that have been around a long while. Consumer Reports, specifically, can be a great resource for homeowners figuring out who makes the best replacement windows, at least in terms of general information about window manufacturers. When it comes to custom energy efficiency window replacement and upgrade work, though, it’s best to seek local expertise.

    the best replacement windows for California homeIn general here are some of the window manufacturers that have scored well with Consumer Reports, which uses surveys from a wide array of homeowners just like you to measure satisfaction in windows and other products:

    • Andersen 400 Series – Wooden Double Pane: These windows average about $310 per window. They won solid accolades across the board from Consumer Reports, with folks who bought these praising their looks, energy efficiency, and effective insulation. However, customers also dinged these windows for cost and not offering a great warranty.
    • Simonton Pro-Finish Contractor Vinyl Double Pane:Another model of window that scored well through Consumer Reports is the Simonton Pro-Finish Contractor variety, which averages about $260 per window, making it a bit cheaper than the Andersen variety. Like the Andersen model, these got points for their looks and for their energy savings. However, some customers were concerned about the seal and experienced a bit of window condensation.
    • Integrity from Marvin Ultrex Fiberglass Double Pane:At $450 per window, the Integrity from Marvin Ultrex Fiberglass double pane is the priciest window on the list, but it did score points for being solidly built. However, some customers who went with this model complained about the price and also said the window did a bad job insulating from outside noise.

    Why Double Pane Windows Are the Best Replacement Windows for California

    One thing that all three models on the Consumer Reports list have in common is that they’re all double pane windows. Now, we’ve talked in the past about how double pane windows work, but it’s important so it bears repeating.

    The selection of windows on the market today is a lot more complex than it used to be; windows aren’t just a single plate of glass in a frame anymore. Nowadays, we have insulated window models that can really help you save on your energy bills. As the name suggests, double pane windows are made up of two panes of glass, either tempered or laminated, held in a single frame. But rather than sitting tight against one another, the panes are separated. This cavity, which is created by spacers, is either a sealed vacuum or filled with a non-toxic gas like argon. The size of the cavity also depends on the crafting of the window but typically ranges from a quarter to three-quarters of an inch thick.

    The bottom line here, however, is that double pane windows have great benefits for you and your home, bringing you added insulation that can help you save on energy costs.

    Dual pane, double glazing, and insulating glass are also common names for double pane windows, so don’t be confused by these terms. All of them have the same construction of an insulating cavity sandwiched between two panes. The bottom line here, however, is that double pane windows have great benefits for you and your home, bringing you added insulation that can help you save on energy costs. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reports an average reduction in household heating and cooling costs by about $500 annually when homes have double pane windows installed. That number may be even higher in Northern California where we have extreme temperature ranges over the course of a year. Simply put, investing in double pane windows can save you money on your monthly heating and cooling bills—and you may even be able to get help paying for new windows.

    Custom Energy Efficient Window Installations

    One of those last points above is very much worth emphasizing again: Northern California has its own unique temperature. What’s great for consumers in the rest of the country might not be as great for you and your home. That’s why my biggest recommendation today is that you go with an experienced local contractor that can help you take advantage of all that custom energy efficient windows have to offer.

    Whether it’s retrofitting or upgrading windows on a brick, wood, or stucco home, an experienced custom window installer can manufacture any style window to fit your existing frame.

    With custom windows, you get a fit that’s not only beautiful and energy efficient, but is also perfect for your own unique house. Whether it’s retrofitting or upgrading windows on a brick, wood, or stucco home, an experienced custom window installer can manufacture any style window to fit your existing frame. Think about it like chocolate chip cookies. Would you rather eat a store-bought cookies or one from your mom’s family recipe straight from the oven? There’s really no competition.

    The most important thing, in my opinion, is hiring an experienced contractor you can trust. Here at Bell Brothers, whether it’s retrofitting or upgrading windows on a home, we can manufacture any style window to fit your existing frame just like it was custom made for it—because it will be. And installation by our expert window installers is always included, too.

    So, yes, referring to online resources can make things a bit more complicated these days, but our window installation pros are still here to help. And there’s nothing simpler than that.

    Learn more about the many benefits that double pane windows can offer your home—and whether there are other maintenance steps your house is in need of as well, from an HVAC system upgrade to efficient plumbing to an insulation install. Contact the experienced energy efficient home professionals at Bell Brothers today.

    Wondering how to finance needed upgrades? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

    Image courtesy Bill Chizek

    This content was originally published here.

    The 2019 Energy Efficient Windows Rebates and Tax Credits for California Homeowners – Bell Brothers | Plumbing Services & HVAC Contractors in Sacramento, CA

    california window rebates 2019New custom windows can do a lot of things for your home. They can let in more sunlight, really changing the nature of how you experience your rooms. They can up the curb appeal of your home, making it a whole heck of a lot nicer—and also more valuable. And, they can reduce the amount of noise saturation that you experience from outside, leading to a quieter and more restful atmosphere when you’re going to bed or just kicking back. I think most homeowners are well aware of these perks. What I’m not sure most homeowners know about, though, is that getting new custom windows installed can also save them money.

    That’s right, buying new custom windows is a bit like an investment, one that will likely save you more money in the long run than the windows cost. There are a few different ways custom windows can save you money, and today we’ll discuss the most common, including the impact new windows can have on your Sacramento home’s energy efficiency.

    I urge homeowners to pay careful attention any time there’s an opportunity to save money on their utility bills, but I think today’s topic is extra important, given that it can also make your home look better and improve your quality of life. So without further adieu, let’s talk about California energy efficient window rebates and tax credits in 2019.

    California Window Rebates for 2019: Must-Know Info for Sacramento Homeowners

    First things first, the most direct way to save money when investing in new custom windows is to familiarize yourself with California window rebates for 2019. Advance information is often scarce, so the key here is knowing where to look.

    energy efficient windows tax credit 2019I recommend paying attention to the information provided by Energy Upgrade California. That group’s website is a fantastic place for information about everything from rebates to energy efficient windows tax credits for 2019 as well. On their website, you can simply enter your zip code and get information relevant to you.

    Any window company worth its salt will be able to help you find valuable information about rebates and tax credits.

    Energy Upgrade California is not, however, the only place where you can get must-know info about California Window Rebates for 2019. Local window installation companies are another excellent resource at your disposal. Any window company worth its salt will be able to help you find valuable information about rebates and tax credits. They can also tell you about the benefits of replacing old windows, which brings us to our next section…

    Custom Window Benefits That Earn Energy Efficient Tax Credits

    Now that you know where to find the best information about rebates and tax credits, the next thing you need to know is all about the energy efficiency benefits of custom windows. Custom windows are a great choice for the energy conscious homeowner because they’re built and installed specifically for your unique home. This reduces the chance that there will be problems with the installation due to a poor fit.

    With custom windows, you get windows designed to fit the unique window openings in your home, ensuring that there will be no air leakage, and lowering your heating and cooling costs.

    Air leakage around windows is one of the leading ways that conditioned air from a heater or air conditioner is liable to seep out of your home, forcing your furnace or air conditioner to run more than it should have to, ultimately costing you more money. With custom windows, you get windows designed to fit the unique window openings in your home, ensuring that there will be no air leakage, and lowering your heating and cooling costs. You can also work with custom windows installation companies to ensure you get the best possible U-Factor for your new windows, and we’ve definitely discussed how important that is in the past.

    California Window Rebates for 2019: How to Get Started Now

    Now that you know how California window rebates and tax credits coming up in 2019 can benefit you—as well as the benefits of having custom windows installed—it’s time to talk about how you can get started reaping these benefits right now. The answer is pretty simple: find the right custom window company for you.

    We’ve talked in the past about how important it is to figure out who makes the best windows, but it’s the truth. Custom windows are a specialized job, and you want to make sure you go with the best. This is, after all, your home we’re talking about. So, with that in mind, make sure you find an experienced, local custom window installation or repair company, one that can help you get all the energy efficiency benefits coming to you via your investment in custom windows.

    Now you know enough about both the 2019 energy efficient windows rebates and tax credits for California homeowners to get started. You know how to use the Energy Upgrade California website to learn all you can about upcoming rebates in your area, and you know what you stand to gain by having a reliable company install energy efficient custom windows in your home.

    The last piece of advice I have to impart upon you is, of course, to hire Bell Brothers to do this work. We are easily the best and most experienced custom window installation and repair company in Northern California, and it would be our pleasure to help you improve both your home and your savings today. So give us a call!

    At Bell Brothers, our trained window professionals would be delighted to help you make sure you get the best custom windows for your home while also benefiting from 2019 energy efficient windows rebates and tax credits. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

    Wondering how to finance new windows—or even a furnace or plumbing upgrade? SMUD is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy-efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a SMUD-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local window, HVAC, and plumbing specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

    Your hometown experts in plumbing, windows, heating and air.

    This content was originally published here.

    Evaluating Energy Efficient Windows | Texas Home Exteriors

    Evaluating Energy Efficient Windows

    Many Houston Texas homeowners would like to know more about the energy efficiency of their windows. Most of the new replacement windows are labeled to indicate their energy properties but this information may not be available on existing or older windows. Below is an energy efficiency checklist to help you with the process of determining the energy efficiency of your home windows.

    The Energy Star Label

    First try looking for products that have earned the Energy Star label. The Energy Star label indicates that the window meets energy performance recommendations set by the US Department of Energy. The label includes a map of where the specific window qualifies for the specific climate zone. Windows that are Energy Star qualified should typically meet or exceed energy code requirements for your area. The determining factors for qualification criteria for Energy Star windows is based on your the climate and location of your home.

    The NFRC Window Ratings Label

    Check for window ratings and energy efficient properties on the NFRC Window Ratings Label. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label is needed for verification of energy code compliance. The NFRC label displays whole-window energy properties and appears on all products in the ENERGY STAR program providing a reliable way to determine the window’s energy efficiency properties.

    NFRC Energy Star Label Example – The Energy Star label indicates that the window meets energy performance recommendations set by the US Department of Energy. The label includes a map of where the specific window qualifies for the specific climate zone.

    Window Performance

    Check the windows for any energy performance labels and information on window performance. If there are no labels or you cannot find any information on the window, you can visually inspect the window to determine the assumed window energy performance with the following:

    1 – Verify how many panes of glass the windows has, with each pane of glass comes additional energy efficiency

    2 – What material is the window frame made from (aluminum, wood, vinyl).  Windows made with wood or vinyl frames insulate better than metal-framed window options so are more energy efficient.

    Below are charts to help in assuming the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).  The U-factor is a measure of non-solar heat transfer (like heat escaping in the winter). A lower U-factor is better (lower means less heat loss). The SHGC indicates how much heat from the sun enters through a window. A low SHGC is more important in the hotter climates like the Houston Texas area. The U-factor and SHGC of a window are shown on the NFRC label. Energy Star windows meet the recommended values shown here:

    Energy Star Window Climate Zone Map

    The U-factor and SHGC of a window are shown on the NFRC label. The U-factor is a measure of non-solar heat transfer. A lower U-factor is better, lower means less heat loss. The SHGC indicates how much heat from the sun enters through a window. A low SHGC is more important in the hotter climates like the Houston Texas area.

    Below is a chart you can reference using the information collected above for the assumed U-factor and SHGC values. This information is based on the International Energy Conservation Code and does not account for features you may not be able to verify such as low-E coatings, gas fills, etc).

    U-factor SHGC Approximation Chart (These values are based on the International Energy Conservation Code and do not take into account features that you may not be able to verify such as low-E coatings, gas fills, etc.)

    3 – Does the window glass has low-E coatings? Low-E coatings are invisible heat barriers that improve window energy efficiency. The most reliable way to identify these coatings is to use a low-E detector device (equipment energy auditors may use). Chances are you do not own one of these but you may be able to identify low-E glass by using a lighter flame or white card by holding either up to the glass and looking for the two reflections from each pane of glass. If one of the panes looks bluer than the other, this is an indication of a low-E coating on that surface.

    4 – Does the window have an airtight fit and weatherstripping. Check the sashes and weatherstripping as these are important factors. The windows may have air leakage if they are not fitted tightly or air could be leaking from in between the interface of the frame and the wall if they were not properly sealed during installation. This may be difficult to check for on existing windows.

    Professional Window Installation

    If you are ready to replace your windows, remember the importance of proper installation of your new energy efficient Energy Star rated windows. This is most necessary for optimal performance of energy efficient windows, to ensuring there is an airtight fit and to avoid water leakage. Use experienced professionals for your window selection and installation.

    Additionally, check the Department of Energy for info replacing windows with energy efficient windows that are Energy Star rated.

    Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and feel free to call me at Texas Home Exteriors, we are here to assist you in your replacement window selection and installation of new energy efficient windows in the Houston, Spring, The Woodlands metro area. We offer a variety of options, call us today at 281.919.6999 and visit our website click her Texas Home Exteriors.  Be sure to check out our Texas Home Exclusive Windows made for the Houston Texas Climate!

    Free Energy Star Window Estimate

    [contact-form-7 id=”4″ title=”Contact”]

    This content was originally published here.

    Energy-efficient windows can save you hundreds of dollars

    Energy-efficient widows can save you hundreds of dollars a year despite the initial cost to install them.  (iStock)

    Getting energy-efficient windows for your home is widely lauded as a way to cut down on drafts and save money on heating bills. But how much do these replacement windows cost, and will they really save you, anyway?

    To help you crunch the numbers and do some concrete cost-benefit analysis, here’s everything you need to know about adding energy-efficient windows to your home.

    How energy-efficient windows work

    Several elements contribute to the overall energy efficiency of windows:

    Frames: If you have old windows, they are likely to have aluminum frames. The problem with that is aluminum allows hot and cold air to easily pass through from one side to the other. “A vinyl or fiberglass frame [which you’ll find in updated windows] is much more energy efficient,” says Michal Bohm, owner of BM Windows, a replacement window company in San Diego. Both of these materials are poor conductors of heat, and thus better insulation.

    Number of panes: Most older windows have a single pane of glass that lets the heat of your home slip out during the winter months. (And do a similarly so-so job of keeping your air conditioning contained during the summer.) Energy-efficient windows will have two, or even three, panes to cocoon your home.

    Fancy glass: In between these panes of glass, manufacturers of energy-efficient windows insert an inert gas like argon or krypton. Because these are denser than air, they reduce the amount of air that is transferred into and out of your house.

    These insulated glass units (IGUs) also feature what’s known as low-emissivity (“low-e”) glass. Think of it as sunscreen for your house.

    “Low-e glass features a microscopically thin layer of metallic oxides that both control infrared light and reflect the sun’s ultraviolet rays,” says Larry Patterson, franchise owner of Glass Doctor, a Neighborly Company in Dallas. “This has the combined effect of reducing solar heat gain in the summer and lowering home heat loss in the winter.”

    Window installation:How your windows are installed can also make a huge difference in their performance. “You can buy the most expensive windows on the market, with the best energy- efficiency ratings, but if they aren’t installed properly, you won’t see the energy savings,” Bohm says.

    Hint: When you’re ready to upgrade, think about hiring a replacement window company that has a professional installation team, rather than a company that outsources the installation to subcontractors or general laborers.

    How much will energy-efficient windows save you?

    The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you’ll save between $126 to $465 a year by replacing single-pane windows in your home. Already have double-pane windows? You can still reap savings by switching them out with energy-efficient ones, but far less. Plan on $27 to $111 per year.

    Where you live also matters.

    “The average savings overall are about $250 in warmer states and $150 in colder states,” says David Bakke, a personal finance expert at Money Crashers.

    Since the average replacement cost runs around $150 per window, depending upon how many you have to replace, you may see savings after even one year or two.

    Do energy-efficient windows have other benefits?

    Energy-efficient windows are also excellent at reducing noise pollution. “Most homeowners report that 60 percent to 75 percent of exterior noise is muted when they installed IGUs in their home,” says Patterson.

    Low-e coatings on windows also help reduce sun damage to your furniture, carpets and even personal items like photos by up to 75 percent.

    Plus, consider the value you could add to your home. Notes Bohm, “a conservative estimate would be to expect to recoup about 70 percent of the purchase price of your replacement windows when it comes time to sell your home.”

    Combine that with your monthly energy savings, Bohm adds, and “your windows should more than pay for themselves.”

    What are the best energy-efficient windows to buy?

    Fortunately, “Manufacturers have made significant technology advancements over the years, and new labeling requirements allow you to more easily compare window performance,” says Mark Montgomery, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem Windows.

    Any windows you choose should have an Energy Star rating. This means the windows will meet or exceed energy code requirements.

    Next, pay attention to what’s called the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. This lets you geek out on comparing such nitty-gritty properties as U-factor (the rate of the window’s non-solar heat loss or gain) and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC—the fraction of solar radiation that passes through the windows).

    If your eyes just glazed over at that list, don’t panic. Energy.gov’s comprehensive Efficient Windows Collaborative can help you select the right windows based on your geography and climate.

    Keep in mind, too, that many cities, states and utility companies offer incentives or rebates for homeowners who decide to upgrade to energy-efficient windows. Ask a window company what’s available in your area, or search for current deals on Energystar.gov.

    This article originally appeared on Realtor.com.

    This content was originally published here.

    Hire a Window Installation Company and Add Energy Efficient Windows

    Transforming the existing living space into a more energy efficient area is always one of the difficult tasks that homeowners do not usually find easy to deal with. With limited knowledge and budget constraints, they have to carefully select window options by considering latest improvements and technologies that overcome environmental hazards and help owners to make responsible decisions.

    But, does everybody know that there is a time when they would have to go for new window installation? Yes, no one could overlook this fact because lack of attention may lead to serious problems. To make timely decision of window installation, the key is to find out the major reasons as to why people should search for new components.

    One of the fundamental factors behind selecting energy efficient window is to have control over heating/cooling bills. Since energy consumption is responsible to add up to 60 percent of the cost, it’s important to find out what is going wrong and how it should be dealt with. Here, homeowners have to understand that energy efficient windows are made up of numerous parts- their frame material and glass composition tend to be the crucial aspects to dictate the strength and efficiency while ensure least maintenance over time. Nowadays, experts recommend to go for vinyl products, instead of metal frames, because the material has got special abilities to work in this regard.

    What else could be expected from new window installation? Well, today’s windows do not need as much installation efforts as they needed a couple of years ago. Yes, everything has been simplified and homeowners can now have quality window installation services at affordable cost. Also, the experienced window replacement company promises to facilitate in whatever way they want. Since they strive to make everything perfect and beneficial, homeowners are rest assured to have outcomes as they expect.

    With the help of energy efficient windows, it’s also easy to reduce carbon footprint. Since heating is caused by non-renewable substances such as wood, oil or natural gas, it’s necessary to pay special attention on ways to control its impact so that surroundings can remain safe and healthy.

    Credit goes to the financial benefits of energy efficient windows that homeowners can blindly rely upon receiving good return on their investment. Whether it’s about controlled heating bills or convincing potential buyers to agree on the resale amount, it’s quite satisfactory to see interesting results of whatever has been spent. Having energy efficient windows means that new buyers are satisfied to live in a comfortable place that wouldn’t need them to spend more money on its energy conservation.

    Last but not the least, energy efficient windows are available in myriads of options that allow homeowners to ask for whatever type they want. Although they are available in varied materials but, vinyl turns out to be the best option because it contributes to aesthetics as well as functionality and energy efficiency of the home. Homeowners just have to decide on how they are going to derive benefits for their properties.

    This content was originally published here.

    How Spot Best Replacement Windows – Mental Itch

    At some point, you may have to consider replacing your windows. Even after performing several repairs through the years, windows will eventually become drafty, noisy and perhaps also let in the rain. When you get to that point, you need window replacement units.

    Fortunately, you will probably have endless options. However, you should take care before choosing hastily, because the best window replacement units should be based on how your home is designed among other factors.

    The expert team at zenwindowsaustin.com is sharing the inside scoop on selecting replacement windows. This guide will teach you how to spot the best replacement option that will make your home comfortable and more beautiful.

    Consider the Extent of Damage

    Window replacement all around the house is usually a costly venture. However, you can save money by first identifying the extent of damage and choosing the best option for your situation. As long as your existing frames and sills are intact, you can merely buy partial replacement units. These are known as pocket replacements because they are fitted into the pre-existing frame. However, you may want to consider full-frame replacement if the damage is too much.

    Sometimes a lot of homeowners will be tempted to invest in a full frame replacement anyway when they remodel. This purchase decision is because there is this belief that newer window designs are more energy efficient. In fact, windows that are Energy Star certified provide between 7% and 15% energy savings, which translates to between $100 and $500 every year.

    Window replacement professionals note that sound quality windows could last between 15 to 20 years or even longer if they are adequately maintained. This lifespan may also depend on the material used. Vinyl windows have an even longer life of up to 25 years, but they, too, have very high initial installation costs.

    In that case, if you are replacing windows just because of potential energy savings, it may not be an economically sound decision. Window replacement should be based on the extent of the damage. Only consider replacing the entire unit if the wear is significant.

    It’s Not the Cost That Matters Most

    When shopping, you will find that there are so many different window options that vary in terms of design and the type of material used for the frame. The effectiveness and longevity of various window frames are not determined by price.  You may realize that some higher priced models are not even good at keeping out cold air and rain.

    But for many window experts, vinyl windows are far more durable and stronger compared to other frame materials in the market. Vinyl is also relatively cheaper too.  Therefore, when looking at window replacement options for your home, do not get hung up on the cost of the window itself, but instead focus on the effectiveness of the particular models. Your contractor should help you in this regard and inform you of the most effective models in the market.

    Match Your Choice to the Climate

    Some window units that work for one region may be completely ineffective in a different one. For example, double or triple glazed windows are ideal for cold climates but not warmer areas. Double hung windows, conversely, are also better at keeping out rain and wind than other types of windows.

    This insulation makes them ideal for chilly or rainy areas. Vinyl windows have better insulation than aluminum and cost less than fiberglass, making them a perfect choice for cold temperature regions. So in general, the type of window you purchase has to be based entirely on climatic conditions in your area.

    Check the Warranty

    Finally, you can save yourself the headaches by just checking how long your manufacturer’s warranty covers your windows. As already mentioned, window replacement is costly, and it isn’t something you should be doing every so often. The warranty may include costs of repairs and replacements too if need be.

    There are overwhelmingly many factors to consider when you are purchasing window replacement units. However, the most important thing is to buy units that will last long, are pocket-friendly, and will deliver a revamped look for your home. Don’t also forget to consider professional installation services.

    Meet the writer: Dan Hatcher is the window expert behind Zen Windows of Austin. A three-decade veteran of the home improvement industry, Dan can take the pane out of selecting new windows.

    This content was originally published here.

    Green Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows in Edmonton

    Window replacement is one of the best options to bring changes to the property. Whether it’s about enhancing beauty, increasing energy efficiency or selling in the future, the approach is effective from every aspect. Homeowners are rest assured to have added benefits and convenience from new windows since they are provided with better options and features. However, remember that some benefits are available right after the components are installed while some need more time to show up. Below are some of the green benefits of installing new windows.

    1. Maximize Energy Efficiency

    Many homeowners say that energy savings are their priority. Although this factor isn’t realized immediately after installing green windows in Edmonton are installed, they make a big difference in the long run, meaning that they cut down utility expenses and allow homeowners to get rid of air seepage into the home.

    2. Life Extended for the HVAC System

    These new windows help the cooling and heating system to reduce wear and tear. They are also capable of controlling energy transference and seepage. Also, owners do not have to pay money on their maintenance or repair.

    These windows will also block noise and create a comfortable environment, regardless of what is going on outside. This feature is particularly ideal for people who don’t like much noise and want to live with peace after having a tiring day. They also significantly reduce noise pollution, which can be essential if you are living in a very urban area. This will improve your health, happiness and quality of life.

    4. Maximizing Security

    Believe it or not, choosing the right windows is one of the effective ways to secure a home. In fact, they are responsible for boosting security in two ways:

    • Some windows don’t shatter as quickly.
    • Intruders have to struggle a lot to break them, since they are quite sturdy and possess an alarm system to notify the local authorities.

    You will be surprised by how much more secure they are.

    5. Improved Aesthetics

    There are a lot of things that owners can do to improve overall appearance of the property. They can either go for a fresh paint coat, adding up window treatments or replace the existing doors and windows to let others get inspiration from the idea.

    6. Rise in Resale Value

    Homeowners usually wonder how new windows could add up more value and worth to the property. What they do not realize is that when new components enhance beauty and functionality, it automatically increases the net worth of the property, thus convincing buyers to agree on the quoted amount. This is especially true since more people are interested in green living these days.

    Install Green Windows for Better Energy Savings and Other Benefits!

    Being a green homeowner isn’t always easy. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to make your home more cost-effective and reduce your carbon footprint. Installing new windows is a great option to consider.

    This content was originally published here.

    Green Energy Efficient Homes | Best energy efficient windows

    New efficient windows can save you a bundle on heating and cooling

    The best energy efficient windows now available are significantly more energy efficient than even the current minimally certified ENERGY STAR windows. Before you look at house window replacements or a volume window purchase for a new house it helps to understand what makes high efficiency windows truly energy efficient and what features will maximize your comfort and minimize energy use.

    In this article I will describe key features of the best energy efficient windows, the current ENERGY STAR standard and the new R-5 standard for high efficiency windows, ways you can make your existing windows more energy efficient without replacing them, and the Windows Volume Purchase program which helps US residents buy the most energy efficient windows at a volume discount of up to 20% from selected suppliers.

    Key features of energy efficient windows

    The best energy efficient windows cut your home energy costs in four ways, the first three of which are directly related to how heat is transferred from one object or space to another:

    The following illustration should help you understand the four ways in which heat is transfered from one side to the other of a window:

    Bear in mind that we’re talking about heat transfer both when you’re heating your home, and when you’re cooling it (or trying to keep it as cool as possible without air conditioning). The same principles apply to both situations: you want your high efficiency windows to be as strong a barrier as possible to heat transfer, from the hot side of the window to the cold side. The only difference is that in winter in cooler climates, you want the heat from the sun to radiate into your home, but you don’t want heat from inside to radiate out; while in summer or in hot climates, you don’t want heat from outside radiating in.

    Double-glazed window cross section

    Which of these heat transfer mechanisms do you think is the most important when looking for house window replacements? They’re all important, but airflow is the most important, at least if your current windows are more than 10-20 years old. If you check the illustration, you’ll notice a squiggly air current moving from the indoors to the outdoors, between the main part of the window and the wall below. This represents a draft, which is the main way in which most homes lose energy through their windows.

    Drafts can occur in cracked putty on old hand-glazed windows, cracked glass, cracked wood in wooden window frames, and improperly sealed moving sashes or casements in movable windows. Drafts can also occur in the window framing, and even in the area of the wall around the window frame.

    In general, when looking at house window replacements, the biggest benefit of replacing your windows with high efficiency windows is that the best energy efficient windows cut down on many of these types of drafts. And while the ENERGY STAR windows specification does not have any requirements as far as air leakage, the newer, more stringent R-5 standard does require minimization of air leakage.

    Convection affects window efficiency as well as your comfort indoors, particularly in winter. If the inside glazing is cold (because too much heat is being conducted outside through the glass and the gas filler between panes of glass), warm air from the room will cool as it strikes the glass, and that air will then tend to fall (since warm air rises and cool air falls). The falling cool air draws warmer air in its place, creating a convection loop that lets the window glass continually pull heat out of the room, all the while your ankles get colder.

    I’ll point you to some resources a little later that can help you deal with the convection currents inside your room to turn your existing windows into high efficiency windows, or that can make the best energy efficient windows even more efficient. Hint: dress up your windows.

    Most high efficiency windows have two or three layers of glazing, with space between them to act as a barrier against heat conduction. The space between the glazing layers is filled either with air or with an inert gas such as argon or krypton.

    Ideally you would want a vacuum between the two panes – as little gas as possible to minimize heat conduction – but unfortunately this has the effect of pulling the two panes together, risking breakage, and since, as Faulkner taught us, nature abhors a vacuum, a vacuum-sealed double-glazed window has a tendency to develop leaks and fill up with air.

    The reason a vacuum would be ideal in the best energy efficient windows, is that if there was no gas between the two panes, only empty space, there would be nothing for heat to be conducted through. (That’s why your thermos has a vacuum between the inside and outside walls of the container.)

    Since a vacuum isn’t a viable option, the next best choice for the most energy efficient windows is a gas that has very low thermal conductivity, and is also non-reactive. Some common gases and their thermal conductivity (in W/mK) are:

    You’ll notice that krypton has the lowest thermal conductivity of the bunch; unfortunately it is rather expensive, so is only used in a small percentage of the most energy efficient windows (particularly triple-glazed windows where the thinner space between panes allows a smaller amount of the gas to be used). Carbon dioxide has low conductivity as well, but can be reactive when it meets moisture, so it’s not suitable for a glazing gas. Argon is the next best gas, and is used extensively in the window industry to produce the best energy efficient windows. If you are buying ENERGY STAR windows or the new R-5 windows, you’ll almost certainly be looking at windows that are filled with either argon, or a combination of argon and krypton.

    Conduction through the solid parts of the window is the second way that conduction affects a window’s energy efficiency. A window frame made of a single piece of aluminum will conduct a lot of heat from the warm to the cold side, which is why aluminum window frames tend to gather a lot of frost around the edges in winter. Efficient aluminum window frames need some kind of thermal break between the indoor and outdoor portions of the aluminum; even so, these window frames are still less efficient than other types. Aluminum frames are definitely less popular than they were 10 or 20 years ago because of this, although some newer wood-cored frames are clad in aluminum. Here are the R-values of five different types of window frame material; higher is better. You’ll notice that all three versions with aluminum in them are less efficient than their vinyl cousins. The most energy efficient windows are almost always vinyl or fiberglass.

    Notice the difference between the top and bottom types in the list? An insulated vinyl window frame has an insulation value between 6 and 12 times better than that of an aluminum frame with no thermal break, and between 1.3 and 3.3 times better than that of any aluminum-based frame. The message here is clear: aluminum is a poor choice for the best energy efficient windows.

    Radiation through the glazing is the third type of heat transfer that affects a window’s energy efficiency. Radiation is really the same thing as light. Infrared radiation is long-wave radiation that you feel directly as heat. Visible light is shorter wave radiation; when intense visible light from the sun strikes an opaque surface, such as your face or a table or floor indoors, it turns to longer-wave infrared radiation.

    How much visible radiation a window lets through is important for two reasons. In climates where keeping your home cool is important, you want to minimize visible light entering your home through windows, because it will turn to heat indoors. In cooler climates where you have the heat on for part of the year, you want to maximize light entering your home so you can take advantage of free heat from the sun. And you want to minimize infrared radiation passing from the warm to the cold side of the glass in either case.

    Manufacturers of the most energy efficient windows address infrared heat transfer by applying specialized surfaces called Low-E coatings to the window glazing. These coatings reflect infrared light back to where it came from, rather than let it pass through, which significantly reduces the radiant heat gain you get from the best energy efficient windows.

    Low-E coatings are applied to the best energy efficient windows to cut down on thermal radiation between the panes of glass in a double- or triple-gazed window. By coating one surface of one or more of the panes with a microscopic low-emissivity coating, window manufacturers can cut back on this radiant heat flow. The coating is most effective when it is applied to one of the surfaces between the panes – the inside surface of the outer pane, or the outside surface of the inner pane. These coatings block much of the radiant heat, and can have a significant impact on window efficiency. What’s more, the coatings can be more effective at blocking radiation in one direction than in the other.

    You should select windows with a low-E coating that is suited to your climate. The three types of climates to consider are heating-dominated, cooling-dominated, and moderate climate with a mixture of heating and cooling. For heating-dominated climates you should look for a low-E coating that allows maximum solar gain (so you can benefit from solar energy in winter to help heat your home). Such coatings allow up to 71% of solar heat through the window glazing.

    For cooling-dominated climates, you’ll need a low solar gain glazing, which reflects most of the solar radiation back to the out of doors – allowing as little as 27% of it into the indoors.

    For climates between the two – those where you run heating and air conditioning about the same amount of time – you should look for low-E coatings that provide a moderate solar gain, somewhere between the 27% and 71% solar heat transmission.

    Coatings can also be applied to tint the window to reduce the amount of visible light entering the room. A measurement called VT or visible transmittance gives you an indication of how close the window comes to allowing all light through it. A VT of 100% is equivalent to a hole in the wall – a window with no glass, such as they used a thousand years ago in castles in England! A VT of 60% or more will generally appear completely untinted to most observers. In hot climates, you may want a VT lower than 60% because reducing the amount of visible light entering your home will cut down on heat gain, as you’ll have less light indoors to turn into heat. But you don’t want to cut down on the light so much that you then have to use more indoor lighting, as you’ll pay twice for that – once for the electricity to power the light, and again for the extra energy it will take an air conditioner to move the heat from that light out of your home. (Of course if you use fluorescent or LED lighting the heat gain from the light will be minimal.)

    The best energy efficient windows therefore combine features to address all of these heat transfer mechanisms: air leakage, conduction, convection, and radiation.

    How to determine if you need to replace windows

    When you’re considering house window replacements it’s important to bear in mind that not all energy loss through windows is easily detected. If you have old single-glazed sash windows with aluminum framed (or even wood framed) storms outside, you will almost certainly see signs that you need house window replacements: gaps where the storm meets the window frame, cracked putty, cracks in the glass, the pulley openings for counterweights are all potential sources of air leakage, and you can often feel the cold air blowing in on a winter day.

    Likewise if you have newer double- or triple-glazed windows with aluminum frames, you may see the condensation (or even frost) building up on the inside of the frames on a cold day, as heat from the room is wicked outside and the cold surface of the frame causes condensation. Or if the seal is broken in a newer double-paned window and the argon gas has been largely replaced by air, you’ll notice more condensation on that window on cold days than on others.

    But some signs are less obvious, and sometimes even the experts don’t understand the factors that determine whether windows need replacing, and what kind of house window replacements to get.

    My brother is a statistician and an energy efficiency nut like me. He once called a window installer to give him a quote on replacing his old aluminum-framed windows. He wanted the best energy efficient windows he could get – he heats with electricity, and every dollar he spends cutting the amount of heat escaping his home through cold Ontario winters has the potential to save him ten or twenty dollars in heating costs.

    He told the installer he wanted low-E windows, and the installer told him it’s not really worth it – that he would be paying 20% more for the windows and only saving a few dollars a year on heating. So my brother pulled out his laptop, opened a spreadsheet he’d prepared, and plugged in the numbers: the amount of heat loss through his current, inefficient windows, the regular new windows the installer was pushing, and the best energy efficient windows available. While the most energy efficient windows had a much higher up front cost, over a 20-year life they would save him enough money to cover not only the increased up front cost, but the entire up front cost!

    The installer was surprised. Even after years of selling and installing windows, he had never done such a calculation. “I guess that’s why you’re a statistician and I sell windows,” he said!

    The point of this anecdote is twofold: first, that the savings from getting the best energy efficient windows can be substantial; and second that most people selling you windows – even people who claim to be looking out for your financial interests – have no idea what the full life cycle costs of different window efficiencies are. If you spend more than a few hundred dollars a year on either heating or cooling, you will definitely be better off if your house window replacements are as efficient as possible.

    You should consider replacing your windows with new energy efficient windows if any of the following apply:

    ENERGY STAR standard for windows

    If you buy new ENERGY STAR windows you at least know that you are getting a guaranteed minimum efficiency level in your house replacement windows. But the ENERGY STAR standard is definitely not all that stringent by today’s standards.

    Set in 2003, the ENERGY STAR specification for windows and doors requires different maximum U-factors for different climate regions of the USA. Remember that the lower the U-factor, the less heat can pass through the window – including through glass, frame and spacers. Factors ranged from 0.65 for the Southern climate region (Florida and the southern ends of Texas and states in between), to 0.40 in South/Central and North/Central regions, to a maximum efficiency of 0.35 in the Northern region (representing roughly the northern half of the Continental US).

    Low U-factors are most important for increasing the efficiency of home heating. Low U-factors help reduce cooling costs in warm climates to a lesser extent than heating. U-factor is basically the inverse of R-factor, so a U-0.4 window is the equivalent of R-2.5. A typical 4″ stud wall will have R-12 to R-16 in it depending on the insulation used – that’s why windows, while a small part of a typical house wall surface, are a large part of the heat transfer.

    If a window company or installer is trying to sell you ENERGY STAR rated windows, you’re at least getting something nominally efficient. But for the best energy efficient windows, make sure you ask for the new R-5 standard.

    Also, be wary of claims of very high R-values (e.g. R-6 to R-9) or very low U-values (U-0.18 to U-0.1) on windows. There is a good chance this measurement reflects the insulation value of the glazing itself – in other words, the manufacturer is measuring only heat transfer at the center of the pane, not the heat transfer of the entire window including the frame.

    New R-5 standard for windows

    While ENERGY STAR windows must have an efficiency between U-0.65 (least efficient) to U-0.35 (most efficient) depending on region, the new R-5 standard sets much more stringent requirements across the board. All R-5 windows must be – you guessed it – about R-5 or better. In fact the specification requires fixed windows to have a U-factor of U-0.2 (equivalent to R-5), but movable windows can have a slightly higher U-factor of U-0.22 or lower, which translates to R-4.54. So many movable “R-5” windows will actually be slightly below R-5. But that’s still a whole lot better than what you’ll get with a minimally qualifying ENERGY STAR window.

    The other efficiency requirement for the R-5 standard has to do with air leakage. While the ENERGY STAR standard made no requirements on airflow, the R-5 specification requires manufacturers to measure airflow through the window and frame, and for that airflow to read less than 0.3 cubic feet of airflow per minute per cubic foot of window (including both the glazing and the frame).

    One additional requirement of the R-5 standard that will benefit consumers is the product warranty. Qualifying windows must have at least a 20 year warranty on the glass (visibility or seal failure), and a 10 year warranty on other components (free from manufacturing defects).

    R-5 windows are typically triple-pane. Note that triple pane windows from the 1970’s and 1980’s were not particularly efficient – you are probably better off replacing these with, at the very least, new double-glazed ENERGY STAR windows. These new R-5 triple-glazed windows are built using a new process that improves the quality of the seal, and features the low-E coatings that minimize unwanted heat transfer. There is at least one R-5 manufacturer who makes double-glazed R-5 windows.

    A typical rule of thumb for ENERGY STAR windows is that you’ll pay about $240-250 per window. For as little as an extra $30 to $50 you can get an R-5 window instead.

    There are many federal, state/provincial, local, and utility incentives and rebates available for people who install ENERGY STAR or R-5 windows. For example many municipalities and utilities in California and some in Florida offer rebates of $1 to $2.50/square foot on ENERGY STAR windows. There are often loans available to help finance purchase and installation of energy efficient windows, although the programs I reviewed had fairly high interest rates, so if you have good credit you are better off financing an upgrade with a second mortgage or line of credit loan.

    Making your current windows more efficient

    If you don’t want to spend a fortune on the best energy efficient windows but you still want to cut your energy losses through your windows, there are a number of less expensive things you can do to at least gain some energy efficiency.

    I cover many of these concepts in my article on energy saving window coverings, where you can learn about ways to cut the convection currents around glass, how to reduce air leakage, and how some types of window coverings can add an additional layer of insulation that substantially reduces your heat loss in winter. And of course window coverings can reduce solar heat gain in hot weather by preventing sunlight from entering a room in the first place.

    Other articles to consult are:

    The Windows Volume Purchase program

    Investing in house window replacements can be a major financial burden in the short term, although in the long term the best energy efficient windows will pay for themselves several times over. If you’re considering a major window retrofit, you may benefit from the US government’s Windows Volume Purchase program.

    The Windows Volume Purchase program was established to encourage window manufacturers to produce R-5 qualified windows and offer them for sale at volume discounts. Participating manufacturers offer discounts- typically, 10 to 20% – on purchases of 15 or more windows for a retrofit, where you replace existing windows; and for purchases of 20 or more windows for a new installation.

    You can take advantage of the Windows Volume Purchase program either through your own window installer (or by installing windows yourself), or by using an installer provided or recommended through one of the manufacturers participating in the program. The program provides a website that lets you select window configuration and size, and provides a list of manufacturer names, websites and phone numbers that can provide windows of that type. The program started in May 2010 and as of January 2011, about 1,000 windows have been sold with a total sales volume of about $260,000 (which should give you an idea of the typical cost of a discounted R-5 window).

    This content was originally published here.