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Five tips for choosing energy efficient windows


The latest in our series of advice posts at Inhabitat focusing on green living, energy efficiency and the like features our own Christine Marvin. She’s sharing a detailed look at the window replacement process an how it can make your home more energy efficient. From the article’s introduction:

…one of the most important elements to maintaining a green home: windows! Windows aren’t just a portal to the outside world — they can improve the comfort of your home, the interior light and ambiance, the ventilation, and above all, they can dramatically increase your energy savings. Joining us this week is Marvin Windows expert Christine Marvin, who is among the fourth generation to work for the family-owned and sustainably operated made-to-order window and door company. Christine provides us with a wealth of knowledge, giving us her top 5 considerations for transforming our homes with new windows.

Her tips:

  1. Consider All Factors: Climate, Energy, Design & Style
    The number one consideration is going to be window performance. Standards for performance often come listed on a manufacturer’s label, where makers list performance data that can arm you with the information you need to make intelligent comparisons between products and manufacturers depending on your needs and location.
  2. Know Your Climate – Where You Live Impacts What You Should Buy
    The next question you might ask is, “How do I know which energy considerations are suitable for me?” The region in which you live plays a crucial role in deciding which window is the right product for you. In particular regions, certain glazing options are better than others in maximizing comfort and energy efficiency.
  3. Understand the Label – Performance Rating Information
    Currently, there are a few prime gauges of performance that can be found on your window’s labels. Every label highlights the various characteristics and performance factors of your window, such as whether or not a window is dual-pane or has a specific U-factor. Generally these labels will come in three flavors…
  4. Make Sure Your Windows Are Under Warranty
    Window replacements are very much a part of this long-term investment, so you should be certain that you are installing a product that is of the highest quality and value – this can often be signaled by the type of warranty your manufacturer offers.
  5. Look for a Company With Values That Match Your Own
    If you take all the tips above into consideration,it’s easy to see that picking the right company to source your windows from is just as important as the windows themselves. Look for a company with heritage, a proven track record, and a commitment to bringing you the best products and services.

Be sure to read the full article for more detail on each of these tips, which are likely to help make the window shopping process a bit easier.