Choosing the Best Home Windows for Cold Weather

December 27, 2022

If you live in the northern regions of the United States, chances are that you will experience cold weather with strong winds and other winter elements. While dealing with these weather conditions, you may struggle with keeping your home at an adequate temperature without raising your energy bills. Thankfully, there are some actions that you can take to combat the relationship between cold weather and high energy bills! The answer: choosing cold weather windows! 

Why Are Cold Weather Windows Important? 

The best windows for cold weather are the ones that can withstand harsh temperatures and help regulate the warm temperatures inside your home. Three factors to emphasize are frame, glass, and energy performance ratings.

Consider Window Frames

Frame types best for colder weather are wood, fiberglass, and vinyl. These frames will resist heat from escaping your home. Wood window frames are the best insulators for keeping warm temperatures indoors. With this considered, you should consider adding exterior cladding to avoid wood damage from the various winter elements. Fiberglass window frames and vinyl windows work similarly. Both window frame options will keep heat in your home and protect it against ice and snow. 

With these three popular options considered, it is essential to avoid aluminum window frames. The aluminum material will allow an immense amount of heat to escape, resulting in higher energy bills. 

Consider Window Glass

When considering the best windows for cold weather, examine the glass. Three factors to consider with window glass include the number of panes, glass coating, and what is between the panes. Avoid single-pane windows. Instead, look into buying double-pane or triple-pane windows. This extra protection from the cold will be worthwhile. The coating for the glass should be Low-E. Low-E will reduce the work of your HVAC system. In short, the Low-E glass coating reflects heat into your home instead of letting it escape outdoors. 

What is in between the window panes is the last variable to consider. An air gap between the window panes will increase the R-value of your window, also called the insulation value. The larger this air gap is, the more effective it will be at keeping the cold weather conditions from exerting your home. 

Consider Energy Performance Ratings

When you consider what to look for in home windows for winter, the energy performance rating is a simple examination that can give you direction. This rating considers solar heat gain coefficient, U-factor, and VT. 

Since a higher solar heat gain coefficient, or SHFC, allows more heat escape, a low number should be your target. The U-factor examines both the efficiency of the glass and the frame. The higher the U-factor, the more efficient the window is. Considering this, aim for a high U-factor. Lastly, the VT, or visible transmittance, is the light that comes through the window. If the window has a high VT, more natural light will pass through it. High VT is essential in colder climates.

In conclusion, choosing the best windows for cold weather saves energy and money. Talk to a professional about installing efficient windows today! 

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