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Recent incentives encouraging homeowners to make their houses more energy efficient have alerted them to how much energy-efficient windows can lower their heating and cooling costs — and made them more likely to choose a company that offers the more energy-efficient window options.
What are ultra-efficient windows and how can they help your customers?
Earning an Energy Star rating has been considered the gold standard for replacement windows and was enough to qualify many homeowners for a tax credit when the window portion of the program was in place. In most cases, windows earned the rating based on testing that determined whether a model's U-Factor and SHGC ratings exceeded the government's standards. Double panes, insulating gas between the glass panels, and various types of glass coatings were usually enough to provide an important upgrade from the windows found in many older homes.
However, technology has rapidly advanced and many window manufacturers are now offering models classified as ultra-efficient that can far surpass the Energy Star standards. Just a few of the features that can benefit your customers:
Windows have long been considered the weak point in a home's exterior insulation package, but not when your customers upgrade to ultra-efficient windows. Most homes with four-inch exterior walls have an R-13 insulation value, but their windows usually only have an R-2 or R-3 rating at best. Ultra-efficient windows can have R-7, R-9, or even R-11 ratings that approach the value of the exterior walls.
Ultra-efficient windows often have a thin plastic sheet between the glass panes that provides another surface for low-E coatings and in essence, creates the sound insulation qualities of a triple-pane window. Less noise intrudes into your customers' homes — a big plus in urban areas.
Lower energy costs
Savings can vary depending on the window model and region of the country, but ultra-efficient windows are estimated to lower a home's energy costs by 20 to 40 percent.
Ultra-efficient windows can be more expensive than standard double-pane Energy Star rated replacement windows, so they may not be cost-justified for customers located in temperate regions of the country, particularly in quiet neighborhoods. However, if your customer base is in an area where severe climate and/or significant outside noise is the norm, this next generation of energy-efficient windows may improve their homes and your business.
Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.