Energy Efficient Types of Replacement Windows: 7 Things to Know

Energy efficient windows are the most popular types of replacement windows. Their clarity, efficiency, and low-carbon footprint make them a great choice for any home.

We’re breaking down the top seven things you need to know about choosing efficient windows. To learn if they’re the right choice for your upcoming project, read on below!

1. They Lower Utility Bills

If you have old single pane windows in your house, your utility money is not being well spent. The single-pane construction lets in heat and cold, instead of blocking it out.

The new types of replacement windows, while expensive at first, pay off in the long run.

Depending on the size of your home, having efficient windows could save you $50 -$100 a month on utility bills. With this, most window replacements pay for themselves in 3-4 years!

2. Block UV Rays

Did you know you can get UV skin damage and exposure while inside your home? It’s true. Windows not treated with filters or low-E tints bring the sun’s effects indoors.

Thankfully, one of the types of replacement windows you can get blocks harmful UV rays. It’s called Low-E glass and it reflects ultraviolet light back into the atmosphere.

Low-E glass doesn’t just keep your family’s skin safe, it also prolongs the life of your belongings. Low-E glass windows reduce fading on furniture from sun exposure.

3. Better in Bulk

The new efficient types of replacement windows save money, but only in bulk. If you’re replacing existing windows to save on your utility bill, you’ll have to go all in.

Due to the way air moves in your house, you’ll only see a financial difference if you replace most of your old windows. This is where window replacement can get expensive.

If you don’t have the money to replace a whole floor of windows, you won’t see a utility bill payout. Instead, try other home efficiency projects while you save for new windows.

4. ENERGY STAR Ratings

The ENERGY STAR program created by the government rates products on their efficiency. Its main goal is to help consumers save money and make eco-friendly choices.

Certain types of replacement windows come with an ENERGY STAR rating. For a window to receive this stamp of approval, it has to meet the criteria below.


A window’s U-value is a product of insulation calculations. To get it, experts take the R-Value (heat flow) and divide it by one.

The U-value that is right for your home depends on where you live. For homes in cold climates, look for U-values between the mid teens and .39. While homes in hotter climates should stay in the lower end of that range.

The ENERGY STAR program gives its approval to windows based on where they’ll end up. Their requirements are below.

In the deep south like southern Texas, Florida, and states along the Gulf the maximum U-value is .40. The states above that .30, and down to .27 U-value in the north.

Buying types of replacement windows without an energy star stamp is not recommended. These non-stamped products are sub-par and will have a smaller effect on efficiency.

SHGC Values

SHGC stands for Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, another part of ENERGY STAR’s requirements. The SHGC measures the amount of sunlight that hits the window, compared to how much enters the home.

The rating system is from 0 to 1, with lower numbers letting in less heat. Their ENERGY STAR acceptance changes with the same geological standards as above.

Homes in the south and deep south should have a max of .25 SHGC. While the requirements for central and northern homes is between .32 and .40 SHGC.

5. Frame Types of Replacement Windows

When you’re replacing your windows, the glass isn’t the only thing to consider. What you frame your windows with affectstheir efficiency.

Aluminum Frames

Each material has it’s own pro’s and con’s, but aluminum frames are at the bottom of the bunch. Metal conducts temperaturequickly, which affects the window’s U-value.

Wood Frames

Wood frames have good insulation ratings, but they are susceptible to weather. They perform well in mild climates, but not in more varied ones. Extreme climates with lots of precipitation or temperature changes will degrade the wood.

Vinyl Frames

Types of replacement windows with vinyl framing do well in most climates. They are moisture resistant and can be filled with additional insulation to increase U-value.

As long as they’re insulated, vinyl frames have better U-values than wood, composite, or aluminum frames.

Fiberglass Frames

Very similar to vinyl frames, fiberglass frames have space for additional insulation. They have good moisture resistance and U-values, but their curb appeal is low.

Fiberglass is porous and needs to be cleaned more frequently than lower maintenance vinyl frames.

Composite Frames

If you can’t let go of the wood-frame look, but need more moisture resistance, composite frames are a good choice. They’re made from different wood types and their thermal ratings are similar to wood.

6. Double or Nothing

Efficient types of replacement windows come in two strengths. Two pane windows are the industry standard and most cost effective.

Both two and three pane windows can have gas placed in between them to optimize insulation. Argon and Krypton are generally used to create this extra barrier.

7. Resale Value

Besides paying for themselves in utility savings, replacement windows add resale value. Every housing market is different, but the returns on investments range from 60-80%.

Installing replacement windows is an investment, but one that pays off quickly. You and your family will enjoy a safer, warmer and more efficient home for years to come.


Now that you understand the facts, benefits, and industry lingo you’re ready to consider if energy efficient windows are right for your home. If you decide they are, remember that company installation quality matters just as much as window quality.

If you have remaining questions or would like a free quote on your project, contact us now!

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