Energy efficiency is a modern term that refers to anything that can reduce your consumption of power and ease the cost of your cooling and heating system. According to the US Energy Information Administration, there are distinct differences between being able to conserve energy and being energy efficient.
Being able to conserve energy refers to your behavior in using energy like shutting off appliances when no one is using it and recycling. Being energy efficient is using technology that allows you to consume less energy while doing the same function, like shifting to a compact fluorescent bulb instead of using an incandescent light bulb.
The average American household uses around 10,812 kWh a year or 901 kWh a month based on 2015 figures. There is a collective effort among many Americans to lower energy costs by being more energy efficient.
One way is by changing your windows to impact windows. However, before you embark on this worthy renovation that will improve the value of your property and your energy efficiency, it is important to know more about why impact windows are the most energy efficient solutions for your windows.
Impact windows have a very low to zero air leakage which means cold air can’t escape and vice versa. You have more control over your room temperature compared to installing window tint. With low to zero air leakage, any cooling or heating system you have for room temperature will not have to work harder to achieve your desired temperature – and this means lower consumption. The range for leakage is 0.1 to 0.3.
The U-factor is lower with impact windows and the lower this figure is, the more efficient it is. U-factor refers to the insulation of the window that affects hot or cold air loss. The U-factor range is 0.2 to 1.2.
Solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC is another way to measure energy efficiency. This measures how well the impact windows can resist unwanted heat gain. Again, the lower the number, the more efficient your energy consumption will be. The range for SHGC is 0 – 1.
When you want to know how much light is filtered through your windows, refer to the visible transmittance value. This value will help you save on artificial lighting and other aspects of interior design such as floor treatment, furniture, and window treatment. The range for visible transmittance is 0-1.
Finally, aside from being energy efficient, these impact windows can also block UV rays by as much as 99%. This means you can avoid harmful rays that can cause skin burns and cancer especially for children below six months of age.