What are energy efficient windows?

Energy efficiency is overwhelmingly important to homeowners, which was made clear in a 2019 study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. 

For homeowners, installing energy efficient windows is one of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption.  Consequently, lower energy consumption means lower monthly heating and cooling bills. 

What are energy efficient windows?

Energy efficient windows work with the seasons. In the winter, they keep heat inside the home, while in the summer, they keep the cool air in. The climate zone where you live determines the type of window that is qualified for your location. 

The easiest way to determine if a window is energy efficient is to select ENERGY STAR rated products. ENERGY STAR rated windows are manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner, tested and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council, and meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Features of an Energy Efficient Window

For windows to be considered energy efficient, they must meet specific criteria. These include:

 

  • Low-E Glass. A special coating on the windows helps to reflect infrared light and ultraviolet light. This not only increases the insulation, but helps to protect carpet and furniture against fading from the sun.
  • Panes of Glass. Energy efficient windows contain at least two panes of glass, but can have three or more panes for more insulation. 
  • Warm Edge Spacers. Edge spacers keep the panes of glass secure at an equal distance apart. Warm edge spacers are non-metallic, helping to reduce the loss of heat around the edges of the window.
  • Gas Fill. In between the panes of glass, non-toxic, odorless, and colorless gases can be added. These gases help increase insulation. 

 

 

Framing Options

In addition to creating the aesthetic style of the window, window frames are as important as glass when it comes to energy efficiency. There are numerous options for ENERGY STAR rated window frames. All of these framing options are designed to provide optimal insulation:

 

  • Wood 
  • Fiberglass
  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum 
  • Combination: Made of different materials, used separately throughout the frame (such as a wood interior and fiberglass exterior). 
  • Composite: Manufactured with blended materials. 

 

 

We know how important it is to both reduce energy usage and keep the home comfortable. Selecting windows that are energy efficient is an easy way to accomplish both.

Most (and Least) Wanted Features in a Home

We’ve all thought about our dream home: the features, design, and amenities we would select if there were no limiting factors. 

In What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 Edition), a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, close to 4,000 home buyers were surveyed to determine the most desirable features when looking for a home.

The survey found that the most desirable features are all about practicality. 

Most Wanted Features

In the survey, participants ranked each feature as Essential, Desirable, Indifferent, or Do Not Want. These were the top ten features buyers look for in a home, according to the survey:

Feature Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Essential’ or ‘Desirable’
Laundry Room 91%
ENERGY STAR rated windows 89%
Patio 87%
ENERGY STAR rated appliances 86%
Ceiling Fan 85%
Garage Storage 85%
Exterior Lighting 85%
Walk-in Pantry 83%
Hardwood Flooring 83%
Double Kitchen Sink 81%

 

A laundry room came in as the most desired feature in a home, with 91% noting this was important in their home search. Having a laundry room in the primary residence is convenient and saves our most valued asset: time. 

The remaining top ten features focus heavily on sensible and sustainable features. Two spots in the top ten show that ENERGY STAR ratings are essential to today’s buyers.

In addition to ENERGY STAR windows and appliances in the top ten, ENERGY STAR for the entire home came in at number 11, with 81% of buyers stating it was essential or desirable in a home. Green construction is important to consider when moving into a new home, and ENERGY STAR features are one of the easiest ways to implement a sustainable lifestyle. 

Storage is another factor homebuyers seriously consider, with both garage storage and a walk-in pantry making the top ten features. 

Least Wanted Features

As far as what buyers are not looking for, here are the most unwanted features in a home:

Feature Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Do Not Want’
Elevator 66%
Wine Cellar 57%
Day Care Center 50%
Plant Covered Roof 50%
Pet Washing Station 49%
Dual Toilets in Master Bath 48%
Cork Flooring 47%
Golf Course Community 47%
Two Story Family Room 47%
High Density Development 46%

 

The top two unwanted features in a home were an elevator, with 66% of home buyers stating they did not want one in a home, and a wine cellar, with 57% of participants stating they do not want one.

Other features that are unwanted by home buyers are focused on community amenities. Ones that made the ‘do not want’ list include a daycare center, plant-covered roof, pet washing station, and golf course community. 

What are your most desired features in a home?

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