“Everyone tells me I’d be better off with thermal windows,” Anne said, peering at her living room window. “But I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t know what kind of windows I have now — so how do I know that installing replacement windows will really make anything better?”
Anne’s not alone in her question. Many homeowners are confused about thermal windows. They don’t know if they already have thermal windows or if they need thermal windows.
The truth is you may already have thermal replacement windows. There’s an easy way to check: look at your windows and see if there’s more than one sheet of glass separating you from the great outdoors. If you only have one pane of glass, you don’t have thermal windows. Thermal windows always, always, always feature double or triple panes of glass. Thermal windows are two to four times more efficient than older, single pane windows.
For example, Alside Windows feature ClimaTech — a unit that contains either two or three panes of glass in every window. One or both of those panes of glass will have a Low E coating, enhancing the window’s overall efficiency. ClimaTech windows also feature the SST warm edge spacer system, minimizing air penetration. Between the panes of glass, Alside ClimaTech windows contain either argon or krypton glasses — invisible gasses that help retain heat and conserve energy.
Saving energy is the main benefit of thermal windows. That’s why Anne has been advised to install thermal windows, and it’s the primary reason most homeowners seek thermal window replacement out.
Thermal replacement windows help save energy by keeping heated air in the home. Because a greater amount of warmed air is retained indoors — experts estimate that up to 40 percent of a home’s heat can escape through leaky windows and doors — the heating system needs to run less often to maintain a comfortable ambient indoor temperature. This results in less consumption of home heating oil, saving energy and money for the homeowner.
How much can be saved with thermal windows? This depends on a number of factors, including the cost of heating in your region, how often you heat your home, as well as how warm you keep the place! If you’ve made other improvements in your home’s overall energy efficiency, this can also affect the amount of savings realized. However, as a general rule of thumb, winter heating bills drop 20 to 30 percent after home replacement windows are installed.
It’s important to remember that not all thermal windows are created equally. There are many flimsy, inferior, older replacement windows installed in homes all across America — which feature double pane glass, yet due to inferior construction or installation, fail to provide optimum energy efficiency. In those cases, installing newer, better replacement thermal windows can remedy the situation. Modern window technology, including low E and other glass coatings, insulating gas chambers and rigid insulated frames, can also help increase a home’s overall energy efficiency.