Choosing the Best Windows for Your Home

By: Smart Zero Home
Share via:

Windows connect you to outside world, and can be one of the most important and widely under-stated feature driving the energy bills in your home directly and indirectly (AC and Furnace performance, and whole house cooling and heating loads). When choosing between different options, we(SmartZeroHome.com) would recommend focusing on the following to pick the windows that best suit your home and your needs:

  1. Window Design Specifications: The solar heat gain from a window and its ability to insulate the interiors from the outside are measured by SHGC(Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) and its U Value. Windows with high solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) will allow for more heat gain and are useful for reducing heating loads in cold winters, whereas windows with lower U (inverse of R) values can preserve the conditioned home from the extreme temperatures outside.

  2. SHGC are the 2 most important window specifications that you should be considering, when choosing windows for your home. Also, contrary to popular and more instinctive belief (especially with experience with tinted glasses), a window with low solar gain (SHGC) can still have a high visual transmittance (VT), through a low-E glass coating. A window with high insulation not only preserves the interior conditioned space but also insulates from the exterior noise (especially useful if you are close to highways or live in a noisy downtown neighborhood).

    It is therefore important to know the most cost-effective energy efficient window solution for your home. Use our (SmartZeroHome.com) design automation software to get the exact specifications (SHGC and U Values). The software designs and generates the best window design through computations that include series of iterations balancing the cost and benefit.

    Our intelligent design software specifies the exact SHGC and U Values befitting your home

  3. Window Style: The windows you choose, should fit in and match your existing interior style and decor, as well the exterior facade. The window frame style (art-deco, modern etc.) can help match the existing style (or not - you may decide to modernize the look through the windows).

  4. Ventilation Needs: Openable windows allow for cross-ventilation and influx of outside air. Cross ventilation of your interiors is a healthy (fresh air replaces the old stale air inside), and inexpensive way of cooling your home. See our (SmartZeroHome.com) post on ventilation. Your ventilation needs and decisions will therefore dictate the choice of open-able vs. fixed windows.

Based on the above considerations, you can zero in on the best products that meet the above criteria. See our (SmartZeroHome.com) pick of the top 5 windows available in the market today. Also check out this post on how to ensure that your windows are installed correctly.

Also see our post on Windows Installation and on the Windows 101.