Homeowner Handbook: Windows and Energy Efficiency

Your home’s efficiency and ability to keep you comfortable throughout the year doesn’t just rest on your HVAC system’s shoulders. Your windows can also play a major role in your indoor comfort. As the colder months approach, it’s important to know how your windows factor into keeping you warm.

Location

Window views should only be one part of the equation. Window placement is key for energy efficiency. So much so, in fact, windows that are on the north or south side of your home are likely to keep twice as much treated air inside as those that are on the east or west side. It’s also important to note that windows generally perform better when they have an overhang to shade them in the warmer months, and provide light during the colder months.

Type

Not all windows are created equal. If your home is feeling drafty, energy-inefficient windows could be the culprit. This happens when your warm air inside cools quickly when it touches uninsulated windows. The air then falls and creates a cycle of air movement that feels drafty.

If you’re considering upgrading your windows, look at the U-rating (the window’s energy efficiency rating). A lower U-rating translates to a higher energy efficiency.

Balance

If you’re building a new home, the window-to-wall ratio should be 12 to15 percent of your home’s total square footage. Natural light is great, but it’s important to consider the placement of your windows, rather than the number.

If your windows aren’t living up to your standards, there are numerous options you can explore before replacing them with newer ENERGYSTAR versions. Installing weather stripping around your windows can make a big difference. Window films can also improve your windows’ efficiency. 

If you’re still having heating issues, consult your MTB technician. Schedule an appointment today.