Energy efficient windows for Minneapolis and the surrounding Twin Cities area should hold in heat during the fierce winters. Here’s what you need to know coming into this winter season.
The right windows will:
- Lower heating cost
- Provide comfort
- Improve your home’s value
There are several variations of glass and frames with energy efficient ratings that will look good and save money over time. You may be eligible for tax credits with some Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights. These newer windows will add to the value of your home when you are ready to sell.
Windows should have weather stripping, and should close with an air-tight seal to keep out winter cold. Double glazed windows that have an insulating pocket of air or gas between the panes are recommended for cold weather.
When selecting windows, the Low Emissivity, or low-e rating, is important. This invisible coating helps to hold in heat from sunlight. Windows with a low-e rating can reduce energy cost by 20% to 50%.
A microscopically thin transparent metallic oxide layer is painted onto the glass to coat it and reflect the infrared heat rays back into the room. The lower the rating, the more efficient the coating. Uncoated glass can have a high emissivity rating of .85 while many coated products are rated at .02. The type of coating can determine where the windows are used.
South and west facing windows that receive more sunlight, even on cold days, should have the lowest low-e rating for warmth and comfort. They should also have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.6 or higher to maximize heat gain. The SHGC rating is also an important factor for holding in heat.
The frames on your windows will also help to hold in the heat. Frames made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have insulating material in the airspace. Vinyl frames come in a variety of colors and they last for many years.
Fiberglass frames can also be insulated to hold in heat. Strong composite frames contain wood particles and laminate that provide some insulation. Wood frames hold in heat but they expand and contract with moisture. Metal frames do not hold in heat.
Midwest Exteriors Plus can give you information on energy efficient windows and frames. We will help you find the most energy efficient windows for your Minneapolis area home at the most economical cost. Contact us today to discuss energy efficient window options!