Window Design: 4 Styles that Increase Energy Efficiency and Aesthetics
When trying to improve the energy efficiency of your home, one often-overlooked factor is the energy efficiency of windows. Window types have varying levels of energy efficiency depending on structure and airtightness. Here are four windows styles that are aesthetically pleasing as well as energy efficient, plus a few tips on installing energy-efficient windows.
Awning windows are attached at the top of the frame and open outwards, and because they close tightly against the frame, they have very low air leakage. This can improve energy efficiency greatly by trapping either hot or cold air as desired when the windows are shut. As a bonus, they look elegant and natural when open, and are great for showing off sleek glass windows.
The hopper style is kind of an inverse awning, as they are hinged at the bottom and open inwards. Because they close tightly against the frame, they are very airtight like awning windows, so the main difference is aesthetic. If you prefer your windows to open inward so that they’re less visible from the outside, or if you aren’t happy with the look of your window panes or frames, choose hopper windows.
Casement windows are another relatively airtight style that provides lower air leakage than sliding windows. They are hinged on one side, and open outward opposite the hinged side. The thermal efficiency is comparable to hopper or awning windows, while visually they look similar to awning windows when opened, except that they open horizontally instead of vertically–it’s up to you which style you prefer.
Fixed window panes don’t open, and thus airtight so long as they’re installed properly. While this makes them arguably the most energy-efficient style, they may not be suitable in houses where ventilation is necessary. Some companies, such as Royal Exteriors LLC, know how helpful energy-efficient windows can be at conserving energy. We have a come a long way since when single-pane windows were the standard in the 70s.
In order to ensure that energy-efficient windows perform up to their capabilities, they need to be installed correctly, ideally by a professional. Most notably, they must be air-sealed to have the best thermal performance. Caulk and weather strips should be applied to achieve this, and installers may also fill the spaces between panes with inert gas to further improve airtightness. (Energy Efficient Windows)
When choosing energy-efficient windows, look for styles that have low air leakage and work well aesthetically with your house. When in doubt, ask professionals for advice on the highest energy-rated windows, and leave installation to professionals as well to ensure maximum efficiency from your windows.