As windows and doors can bring wonderful sunlight and provide access points into our homes, they are also the source of energy loss in the house. A window’s energy efficiency can be improved by installing storm windows, sealing air leaks by caulking and weather-stripping, and adding window treatments or coverings. When a door is old but still in good condition, you can consider adding a storm door to provide an extra layer of protection for your current door.
If you are looking to replace your current door or window, you should first identify what climate zone you live in to choose the solution that makes sense for your climate.
The United States is separated into 4 zones according to the Energy Star Climate Zone:
- Northern Zone (Flagstaff, AZ is located in this zone)
- North-Central Zone
- South-Central Zone (Prescott, AZ is located in this zone)
- Southern Zone (Phoenix and Tucson are located in this zone)
If you are not sure what zone you are located in, use this Energy Star Climate Zone Finder to help determine your zone. When you are shopping for new doors or windows, you can see if they are certified to accommodate the climate in your zone.
Besides, noting the following ratings to determine the energy performance of a door or window, also consider the following:
Measures the rate of heat transfer and how well-insulated it is. The lower the U-factor, the better the performance.
- SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient)
Measures how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. It is calculated on a scale of 0 to 1. The lower the SHGC, the less heat is transferred.
- Condensation Resistance
Measures how well the window resists water build-up. The higher the value, the less build-up the window will have.
- Air Leakage
Rate of air movement around a product. The lower the air leakage rate, the tighter the product fits.
There are 2 basic type of windows: single-pane and double-pane windows.
Single-pane windows are made with one layer of glass. Since it is only one layer, it is not as effective for noise control and seasonal temperatures; the up-front cost is cheaper, despite potential savings is not as much as double-pane windows.
Double-pane windows are made with two panes of glass. The space between the glasses can be filled with gas or coating with low-emissivity/conductivity value. These windows are as much as 50% more efficient than single-pane windows. According to Energy Star, replacing a single-pane clear window in Phoenix can save up to $412 per year, while replacing a double-pane clear window in Phoenix can save up to $185 per year.
In comparison with sliding glass doors, swinging doors offer a much tighter seal. Choose exterior doors with polyurethane foam insulation core because they offer 5x the energy efficiency of a wood door and is CFC-free.
Energy efficient home improvement projects can be used for tax credits. You can get tax credits for 10% of the product cost up to $200 for windows and $500 for eligible doors.
Contact ELA Home Repairs if you need energy audits, or any door and window treatment services at 800-368-PROS(7767) or visit http://elahomerepairs.org for more details.