ENERGY EFFICIENT, LOW-E WINDOWS
Perfect for Hot Arizona Summers
Our low-e windows can save quite a bit on your AC bills! Whether you purchase vinyl, wood, composite or aluminum low-e windows, each comes in varying degrees of energy efficiency. It’s determined by the type of frame material, number of glass panes, gas insulation sandwiched between the layers of glass, and the number of low-e coatings on the glass. (Learn more here.)
How do low-e windows save money on air conditioning bills? They’re very effective at reflecting heat, preventing it from entering the home, holding heat inside the home during winter, and blocking UV rays that damage furniture, rugs and drapery. We’d consider it a mandatory feature for any home in the Phoenix area, and multiple layers of the low-e coatings are worth every penny.
It’s useful to know that low-e and energy efficiency are not exactly the same thing. Low-e glass adds to how energy efficient a window is through a low-emissive film that reflects heat, but not every energy efficient window includes low-e glass. Also, there are varying levels of energy efficiency and low-e window glass treatments, so it’s important to discuss your options before making a purchase, and review the energy efficiency rating of the window you are considering.
Ask us for details today about what kind of windows are appropriate for your budget, climate and style of home!
“DunRite was my third quote, after disappointing quotes from a local home improvement store and another installer. The rates they had quoted were bloated with unnecessary lifetime free replacement warranties and unimpressive or pushy salespeople.
From measuring and quote to leaving a quality job spotlessly cleaned up, this experience has been exactly as promised. Plus, the prices were fantastic! One window came defective from the manufacturer, but they handled it seamlessly and quickly. I highly recommend them.
They installed nine low-e windows, and a set of french doors with built-in mini-blinds and a pet door on my patio.”
Are energy-efficient windows worth it? According to Energy Star®, a $412 monthly utility bill in the summer can drop to as little as $185 for a Phoenix resident – that’s a significant 51% drop!
Owner Sal Sucato suggests most homeowners may see a more modest decrease of 25-35% for their homes, depending on many variables.
Just remember, going from single-pane windows to double-pane aren’t enough for this kind of savings. High performance upgrades might be needed, such as low-e and gas insulation. We don’t recommend triple-pane windows, foam insulation upgrades, accidental glass breakage warranties or self-cleaning glass. Be sure to look at the performance ratings for your specific product!
Common questions about low-e and energy efficient windows
This is one of our most recommended upgrades. It helps the glass reflect heat so it doesn’t enter the home, retain heat when it’s cold outside, and block UV rays that can fade furniture, window coverings, paint, and artwork on the walls.
All window manufacturers use glass from the same sources in their product lines, but their proprietary low-e coatings layered on the glass can have incredible impact on the window’s energy efficiency. It makes a big difference. Most windows today come with two coatings (low-E2) as a standard feature, and many offer upgrades to three coatings (low-E3), which is definitely a worthy upgrade in Arizona. Ask us about it today!
Here is a video that many homeowners find useful.
There are two types of labels that tell a homeowner the energy efficiency of a product. Since you probably won’t see product with the labels attached until the actual installation date, it’s not a bad idea to ask the salesperson, or take a moment to look them up on the manufacturer’s website. You can also ask how more energy efficient products will impact price and any specific product they may be recommending for your home. Sometimes low cost upgrades can add drastic energy savings you’ll like when the air conditioning bills arrive.
The most important label is from the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council). It includes several different performance measurements to consider:
- U-Factor, which measures heat escaping from the inside of a room. You are looking for a low number close to 0.20, which indicates zero heat loss.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, which measures unwanted heat coming into a room. Rock bottom numbers ranging from 0.15 to 0.20 will save the most money on utility bills.
- Visible Transmittance, which measures how much natural light is let into the room. Higher numbers (up to 1.0) are better.
- Air leakage is pretty self-explanatory – who likes drafts? Less than 0.30 is good.
Some product also include an Energy Star label, which signifies it is a certified product that meets Energy Star criteria in their area of the country. Arizona has multiple zones, so it’s important to confirm the rating is for the zone where the home is located. It’s also important to confirm the rating is for the specific product line you are considering, as one manufacturer can have multiple ratings based on location where the windows will be installed, the specific product line, and any upgrades or modifications made to the window. All three factors apply.
Single-hung, double-hung, casement, sliding… there are multiple operating styles of windows. Which one is the most energy efficient? Casement windows win that bet. Because they are hinged and the crank (0r 0ther closing mechanism, depending on how new they are) firmly pushes them into the frame, creating a tight seal that prevents drafts from hurting their energy efficiency. They are far more efficient than all other options.
Picture windows with fixed panels are second, followed by all styles that have moving panels. Single-hung and sliding windows have only one moving panel, making them marginally more energy efficient than double-hung windows, which hit the bottom of our list for least energy efficient.
This comparison only considers the operating style of the window and assumes all other features are equal, such as the type of materials used in the frame, double- or triple-paned glass, argon gas insulation between the glass panels, and two or more low-e coatings on the glass.
Great news – the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has increased the amount of credits you can claim for the purchase of energy efficient windows and doors, spanning 2022 through 2032. And even better, it’s now a $1,200 annual cap, instead of a $500 taxpayer lifetime cap.
It will provide up to $600 for windows, $250 per exterior door up to a total of $500, and a total credit cap of $1,200 per year, which includes other qualified energy efficiency improvements (insulation, heat pumps, air sealing, etc.).
States may also be offering their own programs for tax credits on the Arizona income tax filings, thanks to state grants under the same legislature, so be sure to check arizona.gov before filing.
Read our blog post for details: Can Energy Efficient Windows be Claimed on Taxes?
Single-pane windows are an outdated style no longer installed by any reputable window and door companies, with the exception of windows in a space without utilities, such as a garage or sunroom with no heat or air conditioning. There’s no way to add insulation to the glass without multiple panes, and no way to add the types of low-e coatings available on modern windows, since they are applied before glass is inserted into the frames. However, there are a few things you can do.
Adding shade to a window cuts out direct sunlight, although it can’t reduce ambient heat from warming the glass. Trees, awnings and other methods help. There are also after-market films you can adhere to the glass exterior that are better than doing nothing at all; however, keep in mind they don’t deliver the kind of results that can compete with replacing those single-pane windows with new double-pane windows. You can also add drapery inside the home to help block out the sun, although heat will still enter the home between the window glass and the drapery, those drapes will help trap the heat against the window instead of fully entering the home. They also help keep heat inside the home during the winter.
Can you have a glass installer replace the single-pane glass while leaving the existing window frame intact? It’s likely to be almost the same cost as replacing the windows. Plus, a double-pane glass unit is considerably thicker (in terms of depth) than a single pane of glass. The window frame is unlikely to have the depth needed for the new glass insert.
Related Articles That Might Interest You…
Buying Energy Efficient Windows? Include These Smart Upgrades.
Design isn’t the only consideration in a climate like Arizona. So how do you choose the best energy efficient windows with upgrades that are worth the investment, while remaining true to your budget?
Can Energy Efficient Windows Be Claimed On Taxes?
If you’ve made a purchase of energy efficient windows or doors from DunRite, you may be eligible to claim that purchase on your taxes, receiving a tax credit up to $500. However, certain criteria apply.
How To Replace Single Pane Windows With Double Pane
Should you DIY or hire professionals? Having a windows and doors company replace them for you, or managing your own DIY installation of windows purchased from a home improvement store are the two most common solutions. Here’s our insight on both.
Here’s What Our Customers Say…
The installers were efficient and cleaned everything up nicely. Our salesman, Sal, was awesome. He was very accommodating. He answered some questions for me about other windows and doors in my house. He offered my advice on some screen installation. He actually recommended a different type of company to complete the work I wanted done. (just like the movie Miracle on 34th Street). We were not happy with one of the choices we made with the door installation. We thought we would like our choice of framework but did not like the selection once it was up. Even though it was DunRite’s fault, they exchanged the section we were not happy with and did not charge us extra money for their time or the new materials.
I would highly recommend the company.