What is The Most Energy-efficient Window Style?

When most homeowners go shopping for window replacements, one of the top considerations has to be energy-efficiency. This is only natural, given the fact that monthly energy bills seem to rise all the time. Electricity and gas never undergo price cuts, and that means there is only one way for those costs to go, which is up. You don’t want to make your energy bills worse by having inefficient windows installed in your home, because they could be leaking conditioned air to the outside, and making your HVAC units work twice as hard to keep things comfortable in your home. So, which types of windows are the most energy-efficient?

Picture windows

At the top of the list for energy-efficient windows are picture windows. They are fixed into the frame, and that keeps them stationary. Since they cannot be opened or closed, they never lose conditioned air to the outside. Nor will they allow outside air to penetrate your home and cause a draft to be felt in any of the rooms. Picture windows are great for welcoming more sunlight into a room, and they give you a great view of the outdoors as well. If you desire natural ventilation throughout your household, picture windows may not be the best choice, because they do not allow for substantial air flow.

Casement windows

Next on the list of highly energy-efficient windows are casement windows. Other window styles that can be opened or closed can’t usually match the energy-efficiency inherent in casement windows, and that puts them only behind picture windows in the rankings. The aspect of casement windows that provides most of the energy-efficiency is their design. All four sides come equipped with a very strong seal, and that is what keeps conditioned air inside, and unconditioned air outside. Once these windows are closed, the frame presses tightly against the sash, and the seals lock in all interior air. Most other window styles allow air to be leaked between the frame and the sash, and that’s where casement windows provide best value.

Other energy-efficient windows

While picture windows and casement windows are the very best at energy-efficiency, they certainly are not the only styles on the market that are capable of delivering really good energy-efficiency to your household. Bay windows for instance, can be very effective at saving you money on your utility bills as well, especially if casement windows are part of their design. Since bay windows are so large, they really need to have energy-efficient design to overcome the potential for air leakage.

Double-hung windows and sliding windows are also worthy of consideration, especially since both have had recent design improvements that increased their capabilities. Both these styles have had their air leakage factor significantly reduced, and that’s why they can now be included on our list of energy-efficient styles. This information should give you lots to think about and consider when you’re mulling over replacement windows. If you’re looking for qualities beyond energy-efficiency, some of these same window styles might still make the top of your list.