From the Frame to the Pane

If We Build It, Energy Efficiency Will Come!

Why energy efficient windows?

“Field of Dreams” is such an iconic movie. We have all had those moments when things don’t appear to be working the way we would like them to be. Maybe you have noticed a drastic increase in your electric bill. It’s possible you are staring right at the solution and don’t even realize it. Your windows! When was the last time you had them inspected for energy efficiency? If your home is very old and/or has inefficient windows, you should consider replacing them. New energy efficient windows ultimately pay for themselves due to lower cooling and heating costs. The key to knowing what the best choice for windows is to know what will be the best quality for the lowest cost. There are a few factors you must take into account when choosing windows: the frame, the glass, the design, and installation. Seawright Solutions can coach you through the entire window replacement process and ultimately make your home a window of opportunity and a “Field of Dreams”.

Choosing the Right Frame

There are several different types of frames for windows. Imagine the frame to be similar to the bat a baseball player chooses. There are many different options, but depending on the batter the option they chose may be different. The same holds true for homes. Depending on many factors with your home, you may choose a different option than a friend. There are a variety of different materials to use for a window frame and positive and negative drawbacks to each. Being knowledgeable about this will help you to determine what type of frame works the best for your home.  Since metals conduct temperature more easily than wood, many window shoppers would believe that wood is always the best option. However choosing carefully can be ideal for making the most energy efficient windows for your home. Seawright Solutions can examine many factors that will influence what type of frame is best for your house.

Vinyl Frames

Vinyl is thought to be a less expensive material, but that that doesn’t mean it’s made cheaply. A well-constructed, properly installed vinyl window can be a very practical choice and an energy efficient option. What makes this type of frame a good energy efficient option is the tight construction that reduces air leakage and the use of insulated glass. One of the drawbacks for vinyl is the color options might be limited.

Wood Frames

Wood-framed windows offer the best insulative value. However, due to the potential for rot one must be careful in making this choice if you reside in extremely humid or rainy climates. Much like a batter chooses the best quality wood bat to use, Seawright Solutions will make sure to use the highest quality cut and species of wood when constructing your window frame.

Aluminum Frames

While aluminum is not the best performing in regards to heat transfer, these type frames are very practical in rainy and humid climates. They meet building codes for coastal areas that are prone to hurricanes.

Wood-Clad Frames

A final option is a combination of wood and vinyl or aluminum called wood-clad. These types of frames are constructed of an exterior of vinyl or aluminum and a temperature-transfer wood interior. When installed properly with a water proof rubber membrane around the cladding and the sill pan, these types of frames can be a good option in humid climates.

Choosing the Right Glass for your Home

To make a drastic difference in your home’s energy bills, a great option is to add double paned glass with low-E and a vacuum-sealed argon fill. This type of glass provides more insulation than a single pane window. They protect the house from the sun’s heat and UV rays during the summer and prevent heat from escaping during the winter. A triple paned window is an option, but these types of windows are usually for extreme climates and they reduce a window’s visibility and light transmittance. The best way to tell the efficiency features of a window are right on the pane. All windows in the energy star program have a sticker on them with ratings. To qualify for energy star status, window manufacturers must meet standards on two main metrics – U-value measures the window’s resistance to heat loss; Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how much heat enters a home through the glass. All of our energy efficient options at Seawright Solutions feature energy star labels from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) that give detailed information about the U-value, solar heat gain coefficient, and visible transmittance of the windows. These details tell homeowners and contractors how much heat and light travel through the windows.

Once Seawright Solutions has assisted with choosing the frame and the type of glass for your windows, the next step is to figure out the best design to optimize the efficiency.

Getting the Right Design

Double-hung windows, Casement windows, and Picture windows are three basic types of design one can choose to make their windows efficient.  Double-hung windows are the most traditional design in most homes. One these type of windows the bottom slides up to open the unit. In extreme climates these might not be the best solution due to the possibility of air intrusion between the sliders. Casement windows are a popular design where wind is an issue. This design has a crank that swings the window outwards to open. They actually seal themselves tighter when wind blows against them. Regular maintenance on seals and hinges is recommended. A third design, the picture window, usually does not open at all. They come in many different shapes and sizes. The type of glass and making them with gas filled interiors are important with this type of window.  Finally, Seawright Solutions will help to properly install whatever energy efficient window type you choose.

Let Us Install Them Properly

Now that you have chosen the most efficient window you will want to make sure it is properly installed to maximize the efficiency. Pre-installation water proofing, which is done before windows are installed, is a great option to get the correct fit. Seawright Solutions will make sure to pay close attention to detail when installing the window, the flashing and the water tight caulk barrier. We are professionals at Seawright Solutions who know exactly how to install your windows based on the window type, the construction of your house, the exterior cladding, and the type of weather-restrictive barrier that is needed.

If you want to know more about Seawright Solutions or would like a free inspection and estimate of your windows, feel free to call us at 803-429-0793. You’re sure to hit a home run if you choose Seawright Solutions.