Choosing energy efficient windows and doors for your home
November 18, 2015
Who doesn't love a home with some serious curb appeal? Few things make a bigger impact than new windows and doors, and replacing them has the added bonus of saving you money if you choose energy efficient models. Upgrade your home with a snazzy new look and start living with the benefits immediately. Windows with higher efficiency ratings are designed to help you save on energy costs. Upgrading single-pane windows to energy efficient double-pane windows, for example, can save you between $111 and $465 per year, according to EnergySTAR calculations. CaliforniaFIRST is here to help finance your upgrades!
Do I need new windows?Older homes were not built with efficiency in mind, so there's a pretty good chance your home could use some new windows unless it's fairly new construction. Here are a few factors that may indicate it's time for a window upgrade in your home:
- You notice drafts or water leaks around your windows.
- Your home picks up a lot of external noise due to inefficient windows.
- Your home (and windows) are more than 15 years old, and haven't been evaluated for performance.
- You're using single-pane windows, which are significantly less efficient than double- or triple-pane windows. A quick way to tell whether or not you have single pane windows is to hold a flame up in front of the glass: if you see one flame reflected, the window is single-pane; two reflected flames means it's a double-pane window.
Opting for an energy efficient optionIf your home needs new windows don't worry! At CaliforniaFIRST, we offer 100% upfront financing for energy-efficient window upgrades. A contractor specializing in windows can help you determine two key factors for efficiency that we look at when financing specific products:
- The U-factor, which measures how much heat transfers through a window (the lower the rating, the better it insulates against the outdoor air)
- The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which measures how well windows block heat energy from the sun (a lower rating is also good).
Efficient doorsProperly installed and good-quality doors can significantly reduce unwanted air leaking in and out of your home, which will add up to significant energy savings. Like windows, the efficiency of doors is measured in U-factor and SHGC. Doors are classified according to their "glazing level," that is, how much of the door is glass. Different specifications apply to doors of different glazing levels (the more glass, the higher U-factor allowed). Refer to our specifications page for further details.
Other window productsIn addition to funding window replacements, we'll help you make other energy-saving upgrades relating to windows, including:
- Applied window films
- Skylights & tubular daylighting devices
- Exterior shade products