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Energy-efficient windows: Winter is coming, time to update or replace your windows

Energy-efficient windows are an important consideration for both new and existing homes. Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. 

If you are selecting windows for new construction or to replace existing windows, it’s important to choose the most efficient windows you can afford that work best in your climate.
If your existing windows are in good condition, taking steps to reduce the energy loss through windows can make your home more comfortable and save you money on energy bills.

You have two broad options if you hope to reduce the amount of energy lost through your windows and improve the comfort of your home:

Update your existing windows to improve efficiency
Replace your windows.

Update Existing Windows to Improve Efficiency

If your windows are in good condition, taking steps to improve their efficiency may be the most cost-effective option to increase the comfort of your home and save money on energy costs. There are several things you can do to improve the efficiency of your existing windows:

Check existing windows for air leaks
Caulk and weatherstrip. Check out our do-it-yourself project to learn how to weatherstrip double-hung windows.
Add window treatments and coverings. Learn more about your window treatment options.
Add storm windows or panels
Add solar control film
Add exterior shadings, such as awnings, exterior blinds, or overhangs.

With any efficiency improvements, take steps to ensure proper installation and check for air leaks again after making the improvement.

Replace Your Windows

If you decide to replace your windows, you will have to make several decisions about the type of windows you purchase and the type of replacement you will make.
You may have the option of replacing the windows in their existing frame; discuss this option with your window retailer and installer to find out if it will work for you.
You will also need to decide what features you want in your windows. You will need to decide on the following:

Frame types
Glazing type
Gas fills and spacers
Operation types

Window Selection Tips

Look for the ENERGY STAR and NFRC labels.
In colder climates, consider selecting gas-filled windows with low-e coatings to reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, select windows with coatings to reduce heat gain.
Choose a low U-factor for better ther­mal resistance in colder climates; the U-factor is the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow.
Look for a low solar heat gain coef­ficient (SHGC). SHGC is a measure of solar radiation admitted through a window. Low SHGCs reduce heat gain in warm climates.
Select windows with both low U-factors and low SHGCs to maximize energy savings in temperate climates with both cold and hot seasons.
Look for whole-unit U-factors and SHGCs, rather than center-of-glass U-factors and SHGCs. Whole-unit numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product.


Even the most energy-efficient window must be properly installed to ensure energy efficiency and comfort. Have your windows installed by trained professionals according to the manufacturer’s instructions; other­wise, your warranty may be void.

Olympic Glass is proud to offer Pella and Milgard windows. Olympic Glass provides free in-home estimates and white-glove professional installation to ensure a safe and seamless process.

What makes us unique?  Olympic Glass of Bainbridge Island provides a white-glove concierge service at your location. No need to leave your home during these uncertain times. The Olympic Glass experience starts with completing the form below.

 If we aren’t right for your job, we’ll find the resource that is. Please take a moment to submit a request from the safety of your home. CONTACT FORM

Pella Lifestyle Series Energy Efficiency package is on average 83% more energy-efficient than single-pane windows. Pella Lifestyle Series offers products awarded the ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient Mark in 2019. … Pella’s Duracast® fiberglass composite offers an insulating value similar to wood.

Milgard is proud to be an ENERGY STAR® partner and offer products that meet ENERGY STAR® requirements in all regions. … To become ENERGY STAR® qualified, windows and patio doors must be independently tested and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council and labeled according to ENERGY STAR® climate zones.

{Content for this article curated from Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable https://www.energy.gov/}of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

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