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Charlotte Windows: Article About Energy Star Windows

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When it comes to improving the energy efficiency of a home, most homeowners immediately think of repairing roofing and insulation. While these structures are extremely important in the overall efficiency of a home, a frequently overlooked component is windows. Windows are key points for the transfer of energy, and poor quality windows can significantly impact power bills. In fact, the United States Department of Energy estimates that more than $35 billion in energy costs are lost through windows every year.

That's why Charlotte windows professionals recommend looking for the Energy Star seal of approval. An Energy Star seal certifies that the window has been thoroughly tested by the independent National Fenestration Rating Council and graded on several criteria, the most important of which are the U factor and the solar heat gain coefficient. The U factor is a measure of how effectively a window prevents heat loss, with lower numbers indicating less heat loss. The solar heat gain coefficient, meanwhile, is a measure of how much of the sun's heat is blocked by the window. A lower number indicates a window that blocks more solar heat.

Depending on the particular needs of the home in question, Energy Star certified windows offer several advantages. The most obvious is an increase in energy efficiency, as the windows work to control the amount of energy transfer and lessen the need for heating or cooling.

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Well made windows can also reduce draftiness during the winter by decreasing the rate at which air near the window cools, reducing temperature contrasts inside the home and slowing the flow of air.

Another less obvious effect of Energy Star windows is their ability to reduce fading. Carpets, photos, wood floors, furniture and other materials are prone to fading due to the effect of solar radiation. However, many energy efficient windows are treated with a special coating that reflects much of the sun's ultraviolet radiation without reducing the amount of visible light passing through the window. This spectrally selective glass can significantly reduce the effect of fading even in very sunny locations.

Whether a resident is constructing a new home or replacing aging windows in an existing home, the Energy Star label is the best way to ensure great results. From saving on energy costs to reducing the harmful effects of solar radiation, Energy Star certified windows provide a wide range of options to suit virtually any need. As an added incentive, some homeowners may be eligible for rebates upon purchasing Energy Star certified products.

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