Finding The Right U-Factor

For most homeowners, the key to finding the perfect window is choosing a product that is as energy efficient as possible on without being too expensive, too ugly or too bulky. The U-factor is the key to window efficiency. Here are the most important factors to consider if you are shopping for windows.

Finding the Perfect Compromise

Obviously, the biggest, thickest, and strongest windows are going to have the most insulation and add the most efficiency to your home. However, these large windows can be harder to operate and more difficult to install on fixtures that haven't been reinforced.

Worst of all, they can cost two or three times that of a traditional window. So, most homeowners are trying to find a compromise by finding something that is practical yet insulating. 

U-factor Is Important

The U-factor is basically a standardized measurement of the rate of heat transfer through a window material. It measures how fast heat will transfer in or out of a window. So, if it is 32 degrees outside, its factor is determined by how long will it take until the inside of the glass is also 32 degrees.

Obviously, once the window is installed and heat is running in your home, you will be able to slow down this heat transfer. But, if your window has the right U-factor, the transfer will happen slowly, and you won't need to use so much heat or energy.

The windows are definitely where the most heat transfer takes along a wall. Regardless if you live in a cold or hot climate, the windows will be the weakest point, especially if they don't have an adequate U-factor.

Sashes and Heat Retention

Heat retention is also a major factor and is usually most affected by the thickness of your glass or how many panes there are. If you have two or three pane windows, they will retain heat more effectively, meaning that, once again, you won't need to use your heater as frequently.

The material of your sash also affects heat transfer. Metal and vinyl transfer heat rather easily, and they aren't the most efficient products.

There are aluminum and vinyl products that are thicker and stuffed with more the insulation in order to make up for this. Fiberglass and wood are great natural insulators, but they might also have extra insulation within the frame for colder climates.

When you find your ideal window style, you need to the find a product with the right U-factor for your home. For more information, contact a window shutters treatment company.