Passive House Windows for Energy Efficiency
Many an American homeowner confronts steadily climbing energy bills from month to month, and it’s only natural to wonder why. The answer might be that your money is literally going out the window through energy leaks created by improper installation, damage, or outdated materials. Fortunately, that’s a problem you can address with passive house windows.
Energy efficient windows are qualified by the ENERGY STAR standard, which specifies a number of conditions that components need to meet. Abiding by this standard can make passive windows a part of the larger project of creating an energy efficient passive home.
Passive House Windows: What the Standard Requires
The term “passive house window” doesn’t describe a single type of window that you can buy. Rather, it describes a standard that windows can be built to. That standard is about thermal performance, airtight installation and multi-layered glazing, elements that come together to maximize solar gain and minimize heat loss. Passive house windows bring four key elements together.
Low-E glass has a special solar control coating, designed to cut down on the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that passes through. These coatings don’t interfere with visible light, but in reflecting UV and IR, they help manage heat levels and prevent furniture from fading.
Durable and low-maintenance frame materials improve your home’s insulation and cut down on heat transfer. At Thompson Creek, we specialize in vinyl replacement windows. They’re the frames we generally recommend as the best choice for energy efficient windows.
Multiple Panes with Gas Fills
Energy efficient windows use two or even three panes of glass to provide better insulation, impact resistance, and soundproofing. In some cases, the spaces between the panes are simply air-filled. More sophisticated designs use nontoxic, odorless, and colorless noble gases like argon or krypton instead. These options provide a further level of improvement in insulation.
Warm Edge Spacers
Spacers keep the window’s multiple panes at the correct distance from each other. If the spacers are nonmetallic or built from hybrid materials, they can also reduce heat transfer from the window’s edges.
The Benefits of a Passive House
Passive house windows are a key part of the larger project of creating a passive house. There are several major benefits to passive housing, both for the environment and for the individual homeowner.
Energy Cost Savings
Homes built or upgraded to passive housing standards consume up to 90% less in heating and cooling energy than more conventional houses. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient designs can save up to $465 a year.
Better Sound-Proofing and Thermal Control
Passive housing is designed to keep interiors at comfortable heat levels in both winter and summer. An additional benefit is that the thermal insulation that comes with energy efficient windows also provides acoustic insulation.
Improved Air Quality
Airtight construction and better insulation standards provide for better air quality in a passive house. Technologies like heat recovery ventilation (HRV) come together with energy efficient windows to deliver these benefits.
Home heating and cooling functions involve greenhouse gas emissions. The meticulous design standards of passive housing reduce those emissions considerably.
Passive House Windows from Thompson Creek
Thompson Creek Window Company offers professional replacement window installation that can help you upgrade your home to meet passive housing standards. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.