Swing Doors

Large Windows and Energy Efficiency

If your HVAC system seems to have a higher output throughout the year because of your home’s windows, the size of the windows may not be the underlying cause. In spite of most people have the opinion to the contrary, large windows can be energy-efficient, as long as they’re composed of the right materials and installed correctly. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to large windows or replace existing ones, in today’s post, we’ll explore everything you need to consider for attaining energy efficiency with larger windows.

Large windows carry a negative reputation because they’re often responsible for wasting energy, increasing its consumption and resulting in higher bills. When homes heat up in the summer but double as igloos in the winter, the fault really lies with poor insulation from thin, single glass panes and air leakage from older, incorrectly installed frames. These issues aren’t exclusive to large windows, but because of their size, the effects are certainly intensified. The good news is, there are ways to ensure large windows deliver an improved thermal performance while being kind on your wallet, and it all comes down to their style, frame material, glass enhancements and installation.

For larger windows, it’s recommended to opt for a fixed style like picture windows that don’t offer movement or functionality. That might seem counterintuitive, but opening and closing windows risks breaking their airtight seals and letting drafts in. If movement is a must, complement picture windows with hinged windows rather than those that slide open and closed. Hinged windows have lower air leakage rates because they lock into place and create an airtight seal. Popular hinged window options include casement windows, which open vertically, or awning windows, which open horizontally.

There are several options for framing for your large windows that can help maintain energy efficiency while still providing a beautiful aesthetic. Wood window frames provide excellent insulation and keep external heat or cold out of your home. That means less lowering of the AC and turning on the heat. Wood frames also come in a variety of color options, so you don’t have to sacrifice your home’s unique look for efficiency. Fiberglass frames, while lacking in color choice, make up for it in durability, upkeep and cost-savings. On top of all that, they offer similar insulation as wood to help lower energy consumption in seasons of extreme temperatures. Multi-chambered vinyl frames are another solid low-cost, low-maintenance option for energy-efficient large windows. Vinyl is a poor conductor of heat and cold, preventing extremities from making their way inside. And, like fiberglass, it’s less susceptible to warping from extreme temperatures, reducing the potential for air leakage.

If you’re ready to invest in replacement windows, look no further than Shield Building Products. Our hurricane impact windows and doors will add the desired value that your home needs for a quick sale. Contact us today!