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Many ENERGY STAR qualified new homes feature high-performance windows. High-performance, energy-efficient windows can improve the energy efficiency of your home by reducing heat loss in cooler climates and heat gain in warmer climates.
Window technologies have advanced dramatically and prices for these windows have dropped significantly. Look for windows with the ENERGY STAR label. Heat gain and loss through windows accounts for up to 50% of a home’s heating and cooling needs. Many technological improvements have been made in recent years that have advanced the insulating quality of windows including:
Advances in window technology such as double glazing and low-e coatings substantially reduce heat loss and gains. Look for ENERGY STAR or National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labels to be sure you are getting high-efficiency windows.
Low conductance materials, such as wood, vinyl, and fiberglass perform better than aluminum. Look for “thermal breaks” where aluminum frames are used in heating-dominated climates to avoid condensation. Insulated frames, including insulating spacers between glazings, also perform better than uninsulated frames.
High-performance or advanced windows need to be sealed around framing and other gaps that may exist. Caulks, foams, and weather-stripping work well to keep drafts out.
High-performance, energy-efficient windows can offer you:
Windows typically comprise 10–25% of a home’s exterior wall area, and account for 25–50% of the heating and cooling needs, depending on the climate. Thus, it is critical to consider high-performance, energy-efficient windows when constructing a new home.
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