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Published: Wednesday, 6/1/2011

Seeing Green Through New Energy Efficient Windows

Energy Efficient Windows Energy Efficient Windows

(ARA) - Now that spring is here, many homeowners are thinking about remodeling projects that will improve the home this season and year-round. Whether you're planning a few do-it-yourself improvements or a major renovation, it's important to think "green." One way to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home while saving on energy is by installing highly energy efficient windows.

Energy efficient windows with high insulating values, such as R-5, can result in significant savings on energy needed to heat and cool a home. Up until now, such windows have been cost prohibitive to most consumers. But thanks to programs like the Department of Energy (DOE)'s High Performance Windows Volume Program, homeowners can now purchase energy efficient R-5 windows at a more affordable price.

"The ultimate goal of such initiatives is to increase the awareness of R-5 windows and make purchasing more attainable for home and commercial building owners," says Terry Mapes, energy efficiency engineer and principal investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). "R-5 windows are some of the most insulating available on today's market, and with so many manufacturers now producing such windows, it's getting easier to find prices that suit every need and budget."

So, what exactly does R-5 mean and why is it beneficial? An "R" value of a window means greater resistance to weather -- making it ideal in winter to keep warm air in the home and cold air out, and vice versa in the summer. This compares to common ENERGY STAR windows with an R-value of 3. Increasing the R-value from 3 to 5 reduces average heat loss through the windows by more than 30 percent, according to the DOE.

Let’s say you have energy efficient windows, but something has gone wrong. A baseball came through the window and shattered it, or a seal broke and the argon gas leaked out, leaving the window foggy.

That’s when you call Inst-I-Glass.  This Toledo-based company can work with all kinds of windows, including double or triple paned windows or patio doors that may have low E coatings or argon gas.  They can even do specialty cuts, arches, and RV or camper windows on site.

“We will come out to your home or office in our mobile manufacturing truck, remove your old sash or window, and install your new one, typically within an hour,” says company co-owner Alan Nowakowski. "We have everything to do 90 percent of all jobs right on the spot." 

Advantages are many. Inst-I-Glass uses double-strength glass, offers Low E coatings and argon gas. Homeowners don’t have to replace the entire window, so they don’t have to worry about matching window frames. And the savings, versus the cost of replacing a window, is significant.

Nowakowski, a builder and remodeler, says that a typical window repair will start at $195, depending on the size and type of glass.

The company, which began this past February, also offers volume discounts.

If you're looking to make a change this spring that will beautify your home while protecting the environment, consider installing – or replacing -- energy efficient windows.


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