Energy Star Windows: Big Openings to Save Money

With a variety of manufacturers now producing windows, doors and skylights with the Energy Star label, consumers have a big opening to save money on their home and business energy bills.

bxart_estarAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the average household spends 40 percent of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs. The new Energy Star windows, being produced by 16 companies so far, can reduce those bills by as much as 15 percent — and pay for themselves in just three years.

The Energy Star label — created by DOE in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — makes it easier for consumers
Energy Star-labeled windows, doors and skylights are twice as efficient as those made 10 years ago. In addition, they are 40 percent more efficient than products required under the most common national building codes. New materials, coatings, designs and construction features are the reason purchase a wide variety of products that meet or exceed rigid energy efficiency standards.

You won’t have to give up variety or convenience if you purchase Energy Star windows. According to DOE, they are available in the same operator types as non-Energy Star products, including single and double hung, casement, horizontal slider, fixed or picture, and patio slider. They are made with the most common frame materials — aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl and wood.

Energy Star windows offer other advantages besides energy savings. The low-e coated glass found in many Energy Star windows can reduce the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun by up to 75 percent. Blocking these UV rays protects your home furnishings from the fading or “sunburn” that can result from exposure to sunlight. This feature is especially helpful during those long, summer Kotzebue days and nights.

Another great feature is that well-insulated windows help keep out noise.

Which Window?

You’ve decided that you want to cut your energy bills by up to 15 percent by installing the new energy efficient windows with the Energy Star label. How do you know which ones are the best for your climate?

It’s easy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE worked in partnership with manufacturers to come up with the new window technology and then labeled windows that meet the standard. Whether it’s windows, doors or skylights (or maybe you need all three), DOE says you can be confident that the Energy Star label means the product will exceed the minimum energy efficiency criteria for the climate region in which you live — sometimes by as much as 40 percent!

Each Energy Star window comes with a label and accompanying map of the United States. The label and map will show you if the product is right for your climate region. Regions are split into Northern, Southern or Central. Kotzebue would obviously be in the Northern region. Some windows will qualify for all three regions while others may qualify for only one or two. If you have access to the Internet and want to check out the right window for your climate before going to the store, go to the following Internet address:

The Energy Star label makes it easier for consumers to purchase a wide variety of products that meet or exceed rigid energy efficiency standards. In addition to windows, the Energy Star label appears on appliances, office equipment, home electronics and residential lighting.