Replacing Windows? What is Energy Efficiency Anyway?

energy efficiency utah
A recent industry article said that 70% of homeowners nationwide bought new windows to increase energy efficiency in their home. Based on my experience, 95% of Utah homeowners buy replacement windows for just that reason.

So what is energy efficiency anyway?

energy efficiency vinyl windowEnergy efficiency is a way to talk about controlling the temperature inside your house compared to outside. If the walls, doors and windows of your home keep the heat in and the cold out during the winter months, then your house is energy efficient. If your house keeps the cold air in and the hot air out during the summer months, your home is energy efficient.

Are vinyl windows energy efficient?

Yes! Just ask any window salesperson! Every company will tell you that their windows are the most energy efficient windows available! So, is there a way to know besides just trusting the salesperson?

Are “U Values” really a good measure for vinyl windows?

The vinyl window industry uses a special number called a “U Value” or insulating number to measure the energy efficiency of a window.

A U value is a total insulating number for a window. It is calculated from a ratio of all the components of a window such as the glass, vinyl, spacers between the glass, etc.

IMPORTANT: Just because a window has a good U Value does not mean it is a high quality window. Because utility companies offer rebates on windows based on U Value, homeowners are lead to believe if the product meets the rebate number it must be a good window. Choosing a new window because some salesperson says it has low e glass and qualifies for a rebate is a recipe for disaster. It’s kind of like saying a hot dog must be good because it’s made of meat. I like a good hot dog but not when I was expecting steak.

Quality Vinyl Windows: More than just U Values

A high quality window is determined not only by the energy efficiency of its glass unit, but also by the way the glass unit and frame work together to create a barrier against unwanted temperatures.

Windows should be built to tight specifications to ensure proper operation as well as providing a good weather seal against the harsh elements we experience here in Utah. How the window is assembled is much more important than where the window is assembled.

Never just take someone’s word that they sell good stuff!! Everyone says that, very few truly back up what they sell. Read the fine print on warranties. Research third party reviews. Look on Yelp. Read Google reviews. Check out J.D. Power & Associates.

Also be aware, not every company has the same definition of a good job. I was recently told by a guy at another window company, “You don’t have to do a very good job for most people. Most people don’t know the difference.” I could only respond, “That’s why people trust me. They know I personally stand behind every job we do.”

For a no-pressure window consultation, call 801-272-8855 or complete the form to the right at the top of this page.