When it’s time to replace your older windows and doors, you should replace them with environmentally friendly green windows and doors. Thanks to a joint program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Agency most of these energy saving products are marked with an energy star logo that sets them apart from other less energy efficient products. In 2007 alone, using energy star windows and doors, saved consumers an estimated $16 billion dollars in energy bills.
If you’re not sure what to look for this program has made it easy to find environmentally friendly products by marking them with an energy star logo. But what you are looking for at the very minimum when you are looking for an energy efficient window is a window that has double pane insulated glass with a low-E coating and an airtight frame.
The double pane glass should be separated by a spacer that reduces the heat transfer and prevents condensation. The low E coating on the glass does several things. It helps to diffuse harmful ultra violet light from coming in and it helps to keep heat in your home in the winter and keep heat out in the summertime. And if properly designed, the airtight frame will mean a minimal transfer of thermal heat through the window.
When it comes to energy efficient doors, there are plenty to choose from in the energy star program. Wood is a natural insulating product but you can also select a door made from steel or fiberglass with insulation built in. Of course even the most energy efficient door won’t be very energy efficient if it’s not properly installed and it doesn’t have a good seal. Your energy efficient door should also have a door sweep to help maintain that tight seal. Door sweeps come in aluminum and vinyl but aluminum conducts heat and cold and is less efficient than a vinyl sweep.
And of course if you are looking for a door with glass, you will want to consider the R value. The R value will tell you how insulating the door is, so the higher the R value the better. You can also look at the U value. The U value will tell you how much heat is passing through the glass door. Here, a lower U value is good it means less heat is getting through your door. And of course just as you looked for a Low E coating on your windows, you want to have a low E coating on your glass door. The lower the E coating is the better insulation value for your window and door.
All energy star products have met the strict guidelines to be energy efficient but of course some are better than others, so if in doubt be sure to do your own research and learn to be a savvy consumer.
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