Get Thermal!

You may be one of the many Atlanta homeowners who still owns a home with single paned wood windows. Though it’s April we’re feeling a little chilly lately. Every cold day you heat your home, you lose over 75% of your heat to inefficient windows. So your windows are a factor. But now you you can know how the right can windows help.

Even though it’s Spring and we’re getting into the warmer season soon, here’s some information that will help you know what elements in your window you need to pay attention to get thermally efficient windows.

Air Space

The first element of a warmer window is insulated air space. This also happens to be the first place that single paned windows are lacking. Since all you have in a single paned window is a piece of glass in a wood sash, there is no air space to slow down heat loss. In an energy efficient vinyl window, the double paned glass unit creates 7/8″ air space filled with inert gas (argon gas in most cases and krypton for that extra boost), that slows heat transference. Remember, when think about your windows, it’s not cold you’re gaining, as much as it is heat you’re losing (thus the cold). A window with an insulated air space greatly increases your windows ability to keep heat in the house where it belongs.

Spacer Systems

The spacer is, simply put, what goes between the two panes of glass. A good spacer does not conduct heat (it keeps heat from passing through the panes of glass) so that your house stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If you’re home has single paned windows there’s no spacer working to keep heat in the home and thereby allowing a ton of heat loss. If you have wood or aluminum windows that use an aluminum spacer, you’re losing heat through the conductivity of aluminum.

You want to have a window that has a warm edge spacer. Although swiggel (the black rubbery stuff you see in many wood windows) is a warm edge spacer (non metallic) it falls short by comparison to the latest technology found in most upper end vinyl windows. Super Spacer, Dura Seal, and even Intercept are a few offerings that help cut down on heat loss. When selecting a vinyl window that will help add warmth to your home chose one that has a spacer system you’ve looked in to and that you believe will give you the best insulation your money can buy.

Frames and Sashes

Lastly for this blog entry we’ll take a quick look at how frames and sashes can contribute to reducing heat loss in the winter. Most vinyl window frames and sashes are already better insulated than wood windows and are far better than aluminum. However, not all vinyl windows are the same. If you want that extra boost of insulation, check and see if the windows you’re looking at have a foam filling in its chambers. It’s somewhat nominal but it makes a difference to have that added filling to keep heat in the home rather than passing through a hollow sash or frame chamber.

Also, if you’re concerned about cold air seeping into the home, take a closer look at the weatherstripping that your vinyl window is equipped with. Does it give you the impression that dust, allergens, and drafts will stay out? Just one more thing to think about if you’re trying to stay warm this winter. Your windows can help you more than you know!