The recent heatwaves are a sure sign that summer is in full swing. Like most of us, you’re limiting your time spent outside and reveling in your comfortably air-conditioned home. While modern air conditioners allow you to easily control the temperature throughout your home down to the degree, running the AC for extended periods of time will have a significant impact on your electric bill. Furthermore, poor performing windows will adversely affect your home’s ability to retain cool air while ineffectively insulating your home from the warm weather outside.
Thermally Efficient Windows and Warm Weather
The fenestration industry has come a long way in terms of advancements in thermally efficient products. Traditionally, window frames were comprised of wood and contained a single pane of clear glass, which resulted in a minor thermal performance. Windows that are manufactured today vastly outperform those produced in the past.
Our products come standard with enhanced glass packages containing low-emissivity (low-E) glass, a thermally efficient spacer system and an argon gas fill. Glass that has been treated with a microscopically thin, low-E coating, reflects long-wave infrared energy (heat). Despite its thin reflective coating, low-E glass is transparent and allows visible light entry into the home. Argon gas is a dense inert gas which translates to approximately 34% lower thermal conductivity when filled in an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU). Our thermally efficient spacer system seals the IGU, preventing gas leakage and absorbs moisture within the IGU.
Replacing old or underperforming windows with thermally efficient windows would provide enhanced insulation to your home. This helps keep warm weather out while your air conditioner cools your home quicker for extended periods.
Inspect Your Windows for Air Leaks
Proper window installation is equally as important as the product itself. An inadequately installed window can result in gaps or spaces between the rough opening and the window frame, allowing air to move freely in and out of the building envelope. In this case, your attempts to cool the house are literally going out the window. A quick inspection around the window frame could reveal air leaks which can, in most cases, be remedied with the application of a sealant such as caulk or low-expansion foam.
Before attempting to seal any gaps however, make sure you are using the correct sealant for the job. The only Viwinco approved spray foam for window installation is Henkel’s OSI® QUAD® MAX™ system. You should also reference the manufacturer’s warranty as improper sealing can potentially void the warranty. When installing replacement windows, make sure you use a reputable installer to get the job right the first time. If you have any questions, it is always best to contact customer service before altering your window.
Additional Enhancements for Existing Windows
Hanging curtains and blinds are an effective way to insulate your home and reduce thermal heat gain. Thermal curtains are specifically designed to reduce heat transfer through windows. Blinds also act as a barrier preventing heat from entering the home. A popular solution for insulating entry doors is to purchase a “door snake” to place along the bottom. A door snake can be replaced by rolling up a towel and placing it at the bottom of the door.
Simple Window Operation
One of the main uses of windows is being able to open them to vent your home. When the weather outside is nasty, however, you may be tempted not to. One of the most effective ways to cool your home, is to open the windows and vent the warm air at night when the temperature outside becomes lower than the temperature in your home. More often than not, homeowners will run the air conditioning at night when venting the house can be more efficient.
Though temperatures outside are at their Summer peak, Fall is right around the corner along with the cold weather. If you are looking to stay warm during the Winter months, make sure you are prepared by reading our post on Winter prepping your windows. To get the most out of your windows, check out our window maintenance tips in our Spring cleaning post.