By Stephanie Vanderbilt

Q: Its summer here in New England, and right now Im worried about the heat. However, it feels like Ill turn around and winter is suddenly here. What types of windows are effective in both hot and cold weather?

A: When you live in a climate like New England, you get the best of all seasons. If you are someone who loves variable temperatures and weather, youre in the right place. But this can make it difficult to determine how to properly insulate your home for all kinds of weather.

Windows to consider for a cooler and warmer home

According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for 48 percent of energy use in the home. The good news is that there are types of windows specifically designed to keep your home both cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and save you money on energy billsat the same time. These windows are engineered with various technologies in the form of gases, glazing and more.

Choose energy-efficient gases to insulate your home

Window insulation is one of the most important aspects of temperature regulation. Without it, your window is simply filling a hole in the wall. One of the best ways to insulate your windows is with argon or krypton gas. These gases are both denser than air and theyre designed tomaximize the thermal efficiency of the window while slowing heat transfer.

Not only do gases help insulate your home, but spacers are another important component.These separate the sheets of glass to improve insulation quality and they also insulate the pane edges. While spacers vary by design, the best spacers will also help with condensation and heat loss.

Opt for vinyl window frames for better thermal resistance

The Department of Energy indicates that vinyl frames are perhaps the most-efficient frame material on the market, outperforming wood and aluminum frames. High-quality vinyl frames are engineered with pure virgin polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light stabilizers. The best vinyl window frames contain a larger portion of titanium dioxide than lower-quality replacement windows.

The best types of windows for cold and warm climates will include insulation within the vinyl frames as well. Vinyl frames are designed with hollow cavities that may be filled with an insulating foam during the manufacturing process. This is key to getting the best thermalresistance possible.

Include low-e glazing for UV protection

An application of low-e will also help keep your home more comfortable. While an important purpose of low-e glass is to prevent the suns rays from fading your flooring and furnishings, it can also help keep yourhome cooler since it helps block out the sun.

Preventing summer and winter condensation

Even though hot and cold air are a concern, youll also need to keep condensation in mind. Air holds varying amounts of vapor and moisture during the year, which results in condensation.

Summer condensation is typically found on the exterior of the window, while winter condensation is found on the inside of the window.Although condensation isnt always a problem, you dont want it making its way into your home.

This can lead to issues such as moisture damage, wood rot on interior frames and even mold and mildew growth.

According to Berkeley Lab, a national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, air meeting with energy-efficient windows is less likely to be cooled to its dew point temperature. This is because the inside surface temperature remains higher during cold weather, which reduces the likelihood of indoor condensation.

Condensation is most likely to form at window spacers and frames, since these are typically two of the least insulated areas of the window. However, you can avoid this situation by choosing newer materials for these components, which are designed to prevent condensation.

On the most energy efficient windows, indoor air humidity must be nearly 70 percent before condensation will form -- even if the outdoor air temperature is as low as minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Energy Star-rated products are the best types of windows in New England.When youre investing in replacement windows, always be on the lookout for a Most Efficient Energy Star certification distinction. The products deemed Most Efficient exceed the standard Energy Star requirements.

-- Stephanie Vanderbilt, owner of Coastal Windows & Exteriors, would love to answer any questions that will help you make your home beautiful, warm, safe and energy-efficient. Do you have other home improvement questions she can help answer? Ask her or call at 978-304-0495.

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AT HOME WITH STEPHANIE -- The best windows for New England's climate - Wicked Local Beverly

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August 3, 2017 at 10:41 am by admin
Category: Window Replacement