Impact windows and doors can greatly reduce your environmental impact while also reducing your energy bills.
Floridians should be selective and shop for windows and doors that meet their home’s design and lifestyle needs and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter without making your HVAC system go into overdrive.
ENERGY STAR is a program designed to help consumers better understand which products are most qualified for energy efficiency. This program also provides you with a variety of resources to educate you on energy efficient products, including a climate zone finder.
Products must satisfy several criteria to qualify as ENERGY STAR certified, including:
Manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner,
Independently tested, certified, and verified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
Have NFRC ratings that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
5 Features of an ENERGY STAR Certified Window
The following are 5 features of an ENERGY STAR certified window which are environmentally and financially friendly.
1. More than one pane
Impact glass windows have nontoxic argon gas, or something similar, that fills the space between the two panes to better insulate your home and regulate its temperature. ENERGY STAR qualified windows can include additional panes which enhance their energy efficiency.
2. Special coatings
ENERGY STAR qualified windows may have a low-e glass treatment which is a special coating that reflects infrared and UV light from the window. This gives you better control over your home’s temperature and drastically reduces furniture fading caused by UV light penetration.
3. Gas Fills
As mentioned earlier, impact glass windows will have gas or air between the two panes. This nontoxic gas, such as argon or krypton, works better than air to insulate your home.
Non-metallic spacers, metal hybrid spacers or nonmetal hybrid spacers insulate your window panes’ edges and reduce heat transfer through the window. They also help keep the glass panes appropriately spaced and in place.
5. Window frames
ENERGY STAR certified windows not only account for the glass pane performance, but also the framing materials which can include any of the following durable and low maintenance properties that reduce heat transfer and insulate better according to ENERGY STAR, including:
“Fiberglass frames are strong, durable, low maintenance, and provide good insulation. Fiberglass frames can be either hollow or filled with foam insulation.
Vinyl frames are low maintenance and provide good thermal insulation. Sections may be hollow or filled with foam insulation. Wide vinyl sills may be reinforced with metal or wood.
Aluminum frames are durable, low maintenance, recyclable, and typically have at least 15% recycled content. Frame design typically includes thermal breaks to reduce conductive heat loss through the metal.
Wood frames are strong, provide good insulation, and are generally favored in historical neighborhoods. The exterior surfaces of many wood windows are clad (or covered) with aluminum or vinyl to reduce maintenance.
Combination frames use different materials separately throughout the frame and sash to provide optimal performance. For example, the exterior half of a frame could be vinyl while the interior half could be wood.
Composite frames are made of various materials that have been blended together through manufacturing processes to create durable, low maintenance, well-insulated windows.”
3 Features of an ENERGY STAR Certified Door
ENERGY STAR certified doors are measured based on their glazing level and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) ratings.
1. More than one pane
ENERGY STAR certified doors, like windows, will have more than one pane, typically two or three in order to better insulate your home and reduce heat flow.
2. Fit and weather stripping
Magnetic strips can be found on newer frames to create a tighter fit and reduce air leakage
3. Core materials
According to ENERGY STAR, “fiberglass, wood cladding and steel with polyurethane foam core are among the most energy efficient door materials available today.”
Are Your Windows & Doors Saving you Money?
You shouldn’t have to compromise between a luxury look, quality safety performance and energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors help reduce your environmental impact and energy bills.
Are your windows and doors saving you money? Learn more about ENERGY STAR certified product qualifications here or click the button below to download your complimentary copy of the Aluminum and Vinyl Window Performance and the EPA guide.