High efficiency windows are another option for those that are interested in maximizing the energy efficiency of their home.
Modern windows have as much as an R-7 rating, and that’s very impressive considering there is only glass and gas between the inside of the house and the outside air.
When you consider that R-12 was once considered an adequate level of insulation for an attic, that means the best windows today are 60% as good as state-of-the-art attic insulation used to be.
State-of-the-art windows are known as “low E.” The “e” stands for emissivity. That means that the windows are highly resistant to giving off energy, whether it’s from the inside to the outside or the other way around.
Such high efficiency windows have an inert gas between the double panes. Since the panes of glass are sealed, there is no convection to help transfer energy.
Since the gas has good insulating qualities, there is no conduction of energy to speak of.
This won’t be one of the more cost-effective of the energy saving tips as the price of these type of windows is quite high.
High enough to discourage me from replacing mine.
I opted instead to install storm windows to provide a little more insulation as well as minimize drafts coming from bad window seals.
Even though you might not ever recoup the cost of replacement windows in the form of energy savings, they can make sense if you have to replace your windows for another reason, or you’re building a new house.
There is no sense putting in inferior windows when you have the chance to put in higher quality windows right from the start.