Replacing your home’s windows is a big step toward energy efficiency. Considering what’s involved, it’s a good idea to consider the most energy efficient windows you can find and afford. Frames that don’t conduct heat and glass that blocks heat transfer and ultraviolet (UV) light are the best choices for the Arizona climate.
Aluminum frames are the least efficient in this region because aluminum conducts heat extremely well. Even with the highest E-rating (short for heat emissivity), a metal-framed window won’t give you as much thermal protection as a vinyl or wood window. Wood may be an attractive alternative, but in this climate, it’s high maintenance. It will dry out quickly and possibly crack in Yuma’s low humidity.
The best options for the most energy efficient windows here in Yuma are fiberglass, vinyl-clad window frames, or multichambered vinyl windows. The core of a vinyl-clad window is typically wood, which offers good durability. Fiberglass frames withstand the heat and the cold and can resist the intensity of the sun and its UV (ultraviolet) rays. The multichambered window has outstanding qualities, with many layers of insulation.
What to Look for in Glass
Low-E glass has been coated to resist heat moving through it. It’s this characteristic that makes the difference in the windows you choose. Look for dual-pane, low-E glass windows for the most thermal protection. The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and the U-factor are other indicators of thermal performance. Look for ratings close to 0 for this climate when looking for the most energy efficient windows.
As you go through the selection process, look for that familiar Energy Star sticker on the windows you’re considering. You’ll also find another label from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) that indicates its suitability for this climate. The NFRC works with the Energy Star program to rate window efficiency based on local climate conditions. Each label provides definitions for the terms used on the windows.
Choosing the most energy efficient windows is a big job. For more information on saving energy and keeping your home comfortable, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company, serving Yuma-area homeowners.