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Energy Efficient

Evaluating The Energy Efficiency Of Windows And Doors

Lowering your heating and air conditioning bills (while improving your comfort) is probably the most immediate and quantifiable benefit that comes from replacing your old windows and doors. You should take the following factors into account in choosing the windows and doors that will provide you with the most return on your investment.

Factors To Evaluate

Climate If you live in an area with cold winters and hot summers, you’ll save on both heating and air conditioning bills if you choose windows with energy-efficient frames, insulating glass and low-e coatings. If you live in an area with mild winters, lower-cost aluminum frame may be your most economical choice, but you still may want to consider insulating glass, low-e or tinted glass to reduce fading, glare and air conditioning bills during the summer.

Window Location

You may choose to add options such as insulating glass, low-e coatings or tints to windows and doors only in certain locations where you’ll receive maximum value for your investment. For instance, if you live in a warmer climate, you might choose glass with a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) to minimize glare and solar heat gain on south- or west facing windows. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to invest in glass with a low U-factor to reduce heat loss from windows and doors that are particularly exposed to winter winds or greater temperature drops.

Like anything else, there’s more to windows than meets the eye. In choosing replacement windows and doors, you’ll have the following choices, all of which can have a bearing on energy efficiency…..


The frames of a window or door comprise 30% of the unit. Appearance, maintenance, cost and energy efficiency are each important factors in choosing the right type of frame. For more information, see “Types Of Windows & Doors”.


Some styles of windows and doors may be more energy-efficient than others. For instance, casement windows usually offer the tightest seal against drafts and moisture but typically cost more than other window styles. For more information, see “Window & Door Styles”.


Since glass comprises 70% or more of the window or door unit, your choice of glass can play a significant role in the energy savings you can expect. For more information on different glass options, see “Types Of Glass”.