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Charlotte Windows: Article About Choosing Windows Based On Climate

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When choosing windows, either for a new home build or to replace outdated windows in an existing home, there are a number of factors homeowners should consider. Price, aesthetics, materials and window designs are all important considerations, but it's also important to factor in the local climate to ensure the windows provide the best energy efficiency possible. While it's best to consult a Charlotte windows professional for expert advice, here are several key factors homeowners should keep in mind.

Above all else, it's important to know the local climate. A home located in a humid, tropical climate will have very different window needs compared to a home in a colder northern climate. Choosing the right windows represents a careful balancing act between reducing the amount of heat gained during warm months without blocking too much beneficial heat during cooler months. In a warm southern climate such as Charlotte, the primary focus should be on reducing heat gain during summer.

The first aspect of the window to consider is its solar heat gain coefficient. Solar heat gain coefficient is a measure of how much solar radiation is admitted through the window with a lower number representing a window that permits less solar heat. Homeowners should look for windows with a low solar heat gain coefficient, generally less than or equal to 0.

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40, in order to reduce the amount of heat gained from the sun during warm months. This is especially important for east- and west-facing windows that are directly exposed to the sun for longer periods.

Another important measure is the window's U-factor. The U-factor is used to measure a window's resistance to heat flow and its insulating capabilities with a lower number representing a window that is better at preventing heat from escaping the home. Though the U-factor is less important in warm climates than in cold northern areas, a lower U-factor will still contribute to better energy efficiency. A value of 0.40 or less is ideal.

Finally, visible transmittance should also be considered. A measure of the amount of visible light that is permitted to pass through a window, a high visible transmittance allows more visible sunlight to enter a room without being blocked. The ideal window for a warm climate should block as much solar heat as possible while allowing the maximum amount of visible light to pass through. This is achieved by a spectrally selective low-e glazing, which can reduce solar heat gain by as much as 70 percent without reducing the amount of natural light.

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