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Window manufacturers are producing ever more efficient glazing systems, plus adding new features that enable passive ventilation and increase durability.
Window glass technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Today, you can get a high- performance window that looks good and performs well at any price point.


The windows you select for your house—whether retrofit or new—must meet your local energy code requirements at a minimum, and ideally should be Energy Star qualified for your home’s climate.


ENERGY COSTS THE RIGHT WINDOW
If you want to reduce utility bills, you need to consider the impact of windows. In climates with a significant heating season, windows have represented a major source of unwanted heat loss, discomfort, and condensation problems. But today it is possible to have lower heat loss, less air leakage, and warmer window surfaces that improve comfort and minimize condensation.


Similarly, in climates that mainly require cooling, windows have represented a major source of unwanted heat gain, but low-e coatings that reject solar heat without darkening the glass have undergone a technological revolution and significantly reduce solar heat gain and improve comfort while providing clear views and daylight.


As an example, a study by the Efficient Windows Collaborative www.windows.org shows that the annual heating cost of a typical house in Boston drops from about $750 a year to $550 (24%) by switching from double-pane windows to triple pane with high solar gain, low-e glass. (Keep this in mind when you are assessing the “first cost” of new windows.)


CONDUCTIONis the direct transfer of heat through the window to the outdoors


RADIATIONis the movement of heat as infrared energy through the glass


AIR LEAKAGEis the passage of heated air through cracks and around weather stripping


CONVECTIONoccurs when air gives up its heat to the cooler glass and sinks toward the floor. This movement sucks new, warmer air toward the glass that is in turn cooled, creating a draft.


 


KOLBE THERMAPLUS LOE GLASS
ThermaPlus LoE insulating glass is available in Kolbe’s Ultra, Heritage, Classic, and Latitude Series product lines, and in the company’s impact and laminated glass products. Three energy-efficient insulation options are offered, including one which is designed for high altitude areas. www.kolbe-kolbe.com


PELLA PRECISION FIT
Pella’s newest product offering helps create a better view and offers quick installation for window replacement projects. These easy-to-install windows slide into existing window openings helping retain surrounding interior trim, wallpaper, paint, or plaster. The newest offerings include Precision Fit casement, awning, and transom products in Pella’s Architect Series product line. www.pella.com

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