Q: As we are heading into cooler weather I am worried that my older wood windows are going to increase my energy bills. What do you I need to know?
A: Although autumn in New England can certainly be beautiful, it can have its downsides with dreary days, high winds, and rain. It’s important to make sure that your windows can handle the elements that fall brings to the table, and there are various ways to determine if your windows are ready for a rainy and blistery fall season.
Windows That Are Designed for Water and Air Impact
When it comes to preparing your windows for fall, you’ll need to determine if they’re designed for water and air impact. Top window manufacturers design their windows to resist water and wind and that ultimately keeps your home warm, comfortable, and dry.
In order to test windows for water resistance, newly manufactured windows are sprayed with a continuous stream of pressurized water until failure. The industry minimum water resistance is for 8″ of water per hour at 33 mph. Windows from top manufacturers are rated for 56 mph of 8” inches of water per hour, which is 70% over the industry minimum.
Wind resistance is also tested by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association with a continuous stream of pressurized air at 25 miles per hour. The industry maximum for air infiltration for replacement windows is 0.30 cfm (cubic feet per minute) in order for a window to qualify as Energy Star Certified. The best windows on the market have an air infiltration rating as low as 0.01 cfm at 25 miles per hour. This is 23 times more efficient than most major wood window manufacturers such as Pella, Anderson, Marvin and Jeld-Win.
How Does Air Infiltration Impact Energy Loss?
Air infiltration is a big deal, and the most energy efficient windows are equipped with features such as weather-stripping, heavy duty airlocks, and other features to block out drafts. To add perspective, consider that the industry average cfm rating of .30 allows the equivalent of 24 soda cans of air per minute of cold air transferring through your windows in the winter. If windows account for 10% of air leakage in a home, it’s important to have the lowest air infiltrated window on the market.
Sill Engineering Impacts Weather Resistance
Your window sills are designed to keep water and air from making its way into your home. However, the most energy efficient windows contain extra efficient engineering to block out unwanted air and water.
Look for window sills that are designed with a double-wall sill dam. This creates an incredibly strong bond between the sill and jamb for maximized protection against wind and rain.
Look to Your Locks for Extra Protection
While your window sill is an exceptional defense against wind and water, your locks also play a role with your energy efficient windows. Heavy duty locks will secure your window sashes and keep your home comfortable—even during the chilliest New England autumn nights. These locks help create an airtight seal and keep your home as cozy as possible.
Energy efficient windows are a critical key to saving more energy this autumn. If you have questions about wind resistance or you’re concerned about the performance of your windows, contact Stephanie Vanderbilt at email@example.com for more information.