Windows play a significant role in the energy efficiency of a building. They allow natural light to enter the space, which can reduce the need for artificial lighting. However, poorly insulated or poorly sealed windows can also let in a significant amount of heat or cold, making it more difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building.
One of the main factors to consider when evaluating the energy efficiency of windows is the material from which they are made. Traditional windows are often made from aluminum or single-paned glass, which provide little insulation. These types of windows can be drafty and allow a lot of heat to escape during the winter, or enter the building during the summer.
Newer windows are made from materials such as double-paned glass or fiberglass. Double-paned windows have two layers of glass separated by a space filled with air or another gas. This creates a barrier that helps to insulate the building. Fiberglass windows are also a good option because they have a high resistance to thermal conductivity, which helps to keep the heat inside the building during the winter and outside during the summer.
Another feature that affects energy efficiency is the type of glazing used on the windows. Low-e (low emissivity) coatings are applied to the glass to reduce the amount of UV and infrared light that is transmitted through the window. This helps to keep the heat inside the building during the winter and outside during the summer.
Newer technologies make it possible to have smart windows that can adjust the amount of light and heat passing through it by using electrochromic glazings, suspended particle and liquid crystal devices.
It’s important to make sure that the windows are properly installed and sealed. Gaps or cracks around the window frame can let in drafts, which can greatly reduce the energy efficiency of the window.
So, based on the materials from which they are made, the type of glazing used, and proper installation and sealing, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can help to improve the overall energy efficiency of a building, and reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature inside.