Keeping warm with windowsBy Berit Griffin, Marvin Windows
The deep freeze that has gripped our neck of the woods lately has us saying one thing: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Here’s what we have been doing to keep warm:
- Putting flannel sheets on our beds
- Buying long underwear
- Hot water bottles!
- Replacing our windows
Yes, one of the best things you can do when it comes to energy efficiency is replacing your windows and doors. Old, inefficient windows and doors can contribute to heat loss, and who wants that in wintery weather?
If you’re in a northern climate, you will want to pay attention to a window’s U-factor. U-Factor correlates to the rate of heat transfer. The lower the number, the better a window is at keeping heat inside a building.
You will also want to decide on how many panes of glass. Modern windows have dual panes of glass, eliminating the need for storm window (no more ladders to climb for storms on the second floor!). Marvin also offers tripane windows for increased energy efficiency. The panes of glass are coated with what is known as Low E (Low Emissivity) coatings. These metallic coatings are transparent and help reduce heat transfer. In between the panes of glass are gases like argon and krypton. These insulating gases also slow heat transfer, making the window or door as energy efficient as possible.
Marvin has a variety of energy efficient products (including those that meet ENERGY STAR requirements). For the ultimate in energy efficiency, there’s even solutions for Passive Building. Passive Building requirements are stringent, and they are designed to keep the building or home comfortable using only minimized heating and cooling systems. To design a Passive Building requires certain building performance thresholds and inclusion of key design principles. At its core is a focus on insulation and energy conservation in both warm and cold climates. This standard, based upon a super-insulating, virtually air-tight building envelope, is heated primarily by passive solar gain and gains from occupants and appliances inside the envelope. In addition, clever design to optimize shading, limits cooling load during the warmer times of the year.
Best of all, new, energy efficient windows are beautiful! They can seamlessly replace historic windows or can blend into a cool contemporary project.
If you want to make your home more energy efficient and prevent heat loss beyond flannel sheets, it might be time to do some research on replacing your windows and doors. In the meantime, what are you doing to stay warm?