A: 100% vinyl windows offer the most efficient replacement option. However, thermally broken aluminum frame windows are a close alternative.
It used to be that back in the day, you really didn’t have options when it came to buying windows. They were basic, they were boring and you sure had nothing like the energy efficient windows in Houston we have today. Your only options were what kind of curtain or valances you would hang up.
Fortunately, times and window technology have come leaps and bounds since those days. Today, homeowners have tons of options when it comes to windows. The technology improvements also mean that the selection of energy efficient windows in Houston has come a long way too.
With energy prices and inflation in our current economy, homeowners are even more energy-conscious. They have to be, windows that aren’t energy efficient may cost less upfront, but cost more to own because they are inefficient.
Finding The Right Energy Efficient Windows In Houston
However, how do you know what qualities energy efficient windows in Houston should have? We’ve gone from one kind of window only to dozens of window options. Knowing what to look for is crucial if you want to buy the best windows for your home.
If you want to get the right level of energy efficiency that fits within your budget you have to know what factors into that equation.
Choosing The Right Frame
The one good thing about older windows is that most of them had a wood frame. Wood is far less susceptible to cold and heat transfer than aluminum. It’s just basic science, metals are more conductive to heat and cold than wood.
However, wood has its weaknesses as well such as being high maintenance, prone to warping, and susceptible to rot.
Aluminum windows might be inexpensive and durable, especially in semi-tropical regions like Houston. However, when it comes to energy efficient windows in Houston—they are the furthest thing from efficient.
Metal is very conductive of heat and cold as touched on above. This means that you lose cool air out of your home in the summer. During the winter, you get a lot of cold air in. So, while they may be cheap they’re still a distant second in terms of efficiency.
Vinyl windows break the rule that inexpensive means lower quality than wood. They’re less expensive—not cheap. Our 100% virgin vinyl frame windows are easy on your budget while delivering on ultimate value. These aren’t the vinyl windows people loathed in the ’70s. Virgin vinyl makes all the difference in terms of durability, efficiency, and variety from their predecessors.
The vinyl windows we offer come in many color choices and even can be textured to look like real wood—without maintenance.
Getting Down To The Glass
While the material that the frame is constructed from is important, it means nothing without quality glass. Windows that come with most new homes are typically contractor windows, meaning they are the cheapest available.
The old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” That’s exactly the case with those contractor windows. Compared to energy efficient windows in Houston, those contractor windows will cost the homeowner more to own.
Our vinyl windows are double pane Low-E glass and feature a sealed layer of Argon gas trapped between the panes. This adds a hyper-efficient heat barrier that helps keep your home cool and tampers energy transfer all year long.
So what are you getting with all the features mentioned above? Well, you’re getting some of the most energy efficient windows in Houston. From a standpoint of cutting energy usage, these windows are top performers.
Being that they’re virgin vinyl, they also hold their shape, unlike cheap repurposed vinyl that tends to warp over time. Also, because they’re Energy Star certified you can rest assured they meet the Department of Energy’s stringent efficiency standards.
For our windows to be Energy Star certified, they have to undergo a stringent certification process and meet two main performance metrics:
- U-value: A measurement unit of how resistant a window is to heat loss
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): A measurement of how much heat comes into your home via the glass panes
For both metrics, the lower the number, the higher the efficiency should be.
Efficient By Design
While all of our energy efficient windows in Houston homes are top-tier performers, some designs are more efficient due to their features:
- Double hung windows: These are very popular in Houston homes because of more efficient venting in the spring. With this design, two sashes move independently of each other allowing for efficient airflow. Open the bottom to let cool air in and open the top to allow the hot air to go out. While they’re great in Houston, more extreme climates such as El Paso, or Tucson might get some intrusion of outside air between the sliders. In these areas, single hung might be the better option for maximum efficiency.
- Casement windows: These are very popular down in Galveston and other areas where it can get very windy. These windows swing out using a crank system for venting. When it’s windy out these windows when closed, actually seal themselves in even tighter. Although they require more maintenance, they are wildly popular for their high efficiency and stability.
- Picture windows: these are usually stationary windows and do not open to allow for venting. They do however come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Their level of efficiency is highly dependent on the choice of glass, and having them gas-filled is doubly important in this design.
Installation Can Make All The Difference
Even the most energy efficient windows in Houston will perform poorly if not installed properly. Don’t rely on an installer that banks on using expanding foams and other shortcuts for getting a quality seal.
These materials are not waterproof and in Houston—waterproofing is a must. Waterproofing before the installation is the best option to ensure a true, tight seal. Also, while flashing and caulk are the least expensive components in window installation, if they’re not applied properly they’re useless.
Attention to detail, quality trim, caulk, flashing, and skilled, certified installers is the formula for a great install. Never be afraid to question the materials or method of your installers if something doesn’t seem right.
Get The Best Energy Efficient Windows In Houston!
If you want to avoid the pitfalls of buying cheap windows with a cheap installation that fails after just a couple of years, choose The Window Source of Houston. Our windows are second to none in craftsmanship and installed professionally with a lifetime warranty.
Contact us today for your free in-home consultation!