Considering replacement windows for your older or single pane windows? Not a bad idea to check out. Replacement windows can give you a decent cut in your energy bills. But should you spend the extra money for all of the energy-saving options, such as Low-E glass, triple glazing, argon or krypton gas?
Make no mistake: replacement windows do show significant efficiency improvements over older, drafty windows. But regardless of some high end options, windows typically have a negative characteristic. You see, in cold winter months, glass is cold to the touch, and the difference in temperature causes convection currents on the inside, moving the cold air around near the window. And when they are very cold and there’s a difference in temperature on the inside of a window, condensation/ and moisture can become an issue, too.
In a Consumer Reports article, How to Choose Replacement Windows, and in a separate article titled Q&A: Is it a worth the extra cost to buy windows filled with argon gas? they warn not to overspend on options. They state that while there might be incremental increases in energy efficiency of the windows, paying up to 50% more for extras might not offset the benefits.
Regarding replacement windows: it is highly unlikely that replacement windows with multiple layers of high-performance glass would be cost effective based solely on their energy savings, and second, it is even less likely that replacement windows would improve occupant comfort. Whoa.
An inconvenient (and uncomfortable) truth
The unfortunate reality is that even high-end replacement windows are destined to be uncomfortable in cold weather, because they are made of glass.
Because glass is a high density material it cools the air near its surface. This cool air becomes heavier, and gravity causes it to fall to the floor. Because warm air rises and colder air falls, cold glass naturally induces the convected air movement that you feel as a draft when you are near the window; and, the taller the window, the more dramatic the draft.
This unfortunate and uncomfortable consequence is simply inherent in glass and these effects are not significantly reduced by using ‘low-e’ glass, or tinted glass, or even multiple layers of glass, because the density of the glass material itself remains the same.
So what are you to do?
Consider Advanced Energy Panels
Even at 20 below zero, AEP’s are warm to the touch on the inside.
Lab tests prove it:
At zero degree Fahrenheit outdoor temperature, and the thermostat set to 70 degrees inside, here are the findings:
- Single glazed window = 17.3 degrees to the touch.
- Traditional double glazed window = 40 degrees to the touch.
- More modern window
- Single glazed window with our Advanced Energy Panel panel = 56.1 degrees to the touch.
[See our engineering tests]
But don’t rely just on our findings. According to the Journal of Green Building, an interior storm window on a single pane window will show a 72% increase in insulation improvement and 55% U-Value improvement.
And the German PassivHaus Institute ran the same test. Don’t worry about having to read German:
- A single glazed window: surface temperature is 34 degrees.
- Typical modern (post 2000) double glazed window: 51.8 degrees
- Triple glazed window with all the extras: 64 degrees.
Cut your fuel bills and increase your comfort at the same time.
Advanced Energy Panels (AEPs) are a retrofit for historic windows or any window people can’t afford to replace or don’t wish to replace. AEPs are interior window insulating panels and can be installed in any building – office buildings, homes, historical landmarks or industrial buildings. They have a higher insulation and air sealing rating and provide greater comfort than most replacement windows – and at a fraction of the cost.
And here’s an added bonus to Advanced Energy Panels window inserts: they reduce noise by up to 70% over existing windows.
AEPs are custom made to fit over existing openings, protecting, preserving and improving existing windows.
AEPs are the most practical, durable, affordable and cost effective option available for improving the energy efficiency and winter comfort of your existing windows. They are quick and easy to install and remove and can be reused indefinitely year after year.