In Southwest Florida, summer is synonymous with hot weather and hurricane season. To protect your home throughout the summer, your home needs durable, impact windows. But are hurricane windows energy efficient? The answer is yes!
On average, Americans spend between $1,500 and $2,500 annually on energy bills, with up to 45% of those costs attributed to heating and cooling alone. Heat gain through windows may cause up to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.
In other words, energy efficient windows can maximize your AC’s cooling power and reduce electric costs at the same time. In this article, you'll learn about the benefits of energy efficient impact windows and the factors to look for in window efficiency ratings, so you can cool your home and get the most bang for your buck.
Are Impact Windows Energy Efficient?
Not only do impact windows protect your home from damaging wind and debris accompanied by storms and hurricanes, but they are also designed to reduce solar heat gain in the summer and help retain heat in your home on cooler winter nights.
In fact, impact windows are better insulated and more energy efficient than other types of windows due to the way they are constructed. They are dual pane windows, made up of two pieces of glass, one laminated and one tempered, separated by an airspace. While the pocket of air helps to absorb and trap heat from outside, the glass itself blocks up to 99% of UV rays, thus protecting you, your furniture, floors, walls, and more from the harmful effects of the sun.
Understanding Window Energy Efficiency Ratings
When it comes to choosing the best energy efficient impact windows for your home, you must first familiarize yourself with common glass ratings.
National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) Rating
NFRC provides multiple energy performance ratings. When you're trying to choose windows, it's helpful to know what those values stand for so you can find the right energy-efficient impact windows for your needs. The following list contains the common rating categories and values to look for on window stickers when seeking energy efficient windows in South Florida.
R-value measures resistance to heat flow through the window. The higher R-value, the better. Look for windows with a rating between 2 and 3 for South Florida.
The U-Factor measures the amount of heat transferred through the window - this measurement is the reciprocal of the R-factor. The lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient the window. For Florida climates, look for u-factor ratings lower than .75. The best U-factor ratings in South Florida measure around 0.6.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
This rating shows solar radiation levels transmitted through the window and released as heat inside a home. In Florida, an SHGC lower than 0.4 is recommended.
Visible (Visual) Transmittance
Visible Transmittance measures how much sunlight comes through the window. Ratings for Visible Transmittance range between 0 and 1. For Southwest Florida, between .3 and .8 is common, depending on the amount of light you want to let in.
This rating measures how much air seeps through the cracks in the window frame. For Florida, look for windows with ratings lower than 0.3.
Energy Star® Rating
Every window is labeled with energy performance ratings based on NFRC testing. However, only the most energy-efficient windows earn recognition from ENERGY STAR. This rating shows that the windows meet strict energy efficiency standards set by the EPA's ENERGY STAR program.
If you see an ENERGY STAR logo, you know it’s a higher efficiency window than one without. In fact, you can save between $126 to $465 per year in energy costs if replacing single-pane windows with double-pane high-impact windows.
PGT Energy Efficient Impact Windows
WinGuard® Impact-Resistant Windows from PGT meet requirements for hurricane-force winds, flying debris, and energy efficiency. They stop 99% of the UV light that might enter your home and cause fading, and they are Energy Star compliant. This best-selling brand has produced and installed more than four million WinGuard® products and has received zero reported impact failures.
Contact Storm Solutions for the Best Energy Efficient Windows in Southwest Florida
If you live in the area around Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Marco Island, Port Charlotte, and Punta Gorda in Southwest Florida, Storm Solutions provides the best energy efficient windows in the area. Brands we carry include WinGuard® Impact-Resistant Windows from PGT as well as other Energy Star approved brands that are proven to significantly reduce cooling and heating costs.
Give us a call at (239) 567-9772 to learn more about energy efficient windows and schedule your no-obligation consultation. We're here to help keep you cool, comfortable, and protected in your home, through quality windows you can rely on.