Are old windows costing you?

May 1, 2014, 5:52 pm

ant-hill2.jpgHere in Arizona with temperatures reaching as high as 117 degrees (yikes!), it is important to be sure that your windows are energy efficient. You could be losing money on your energy bills if you have outdated single pane windows.

If you’re getting serious about purchasing new windows it’s important to understand some terminology first.

The two most important terms to know and understand are Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U-Factor. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is similar to a child placing a magnifying glass over an ant hill on a very hot day. Although chances are you are not an ant, and you live in a home, not a mound of dirt, the principle is the same. Solar heat from the sun passes through the glass in your windows and can raise the temperature within your home, therefore, the lower the coefficient the better when it comes to Solar Heat Gain. Windows with lower SHGC reflect more heat away from your home ultimately keeping it cooler inside.

U-Factor refers to the transfer of non-solar heat (usually within the home) to outside of the home. It’s kind of like when you are boiling pasta and you place the lid over the pot to keep the heat in. It’s the same idea when it comes to keeping your home warm in the winter months, the lower the U-Factor, the more heat will remain in your home.

Simply put, single pane windows just don’t cut it anymore when it comes to keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient. Windows with a low U-factor and a low SHGC are what you want to look for here in the desert. Not only do windows with these ratings keep your home comfortable, but they can also save you anywhere from 10 to 25 percent a year on your energy bills.

Next time you catch yourself gazing out your window take a closer look and evaluate if it’s time to upgrade. Don’t let your money go out the window—literally.

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