There’s nothing like cozying up on the couch with a blanket when the outdoor temperatures start to drop. However, during winter, your heating bill may skyrocket as the furnace combats the cold. Having a contractor install quality replacement windows can help cut your utility costs by boosting your home’s energy efficiency. The following guide explains what qualities to look for in new installations, as well as how they fight heat transfer to keep you warm.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Replacing Windows for Winter

How Do New Windows Help You Stay Warm?

New windows block drafts since they have sturdy frames that are free of damage or gaps that allow air through. Modern features also have multiple panes with gas seals between them that provide an added layer of insulation. Argon gas is injected between the sheets of glass, and since it’s denser than air, it more effectively blocks heat transfer. The substance also doesn’t have moisture or water content, so the glass stays free of condensation and fog to preserve your view. Modern windows are made with nonconductive materials—like vinyl—that also help slow the transfer of heat.

replacement windows

With efficient replacement windows, the heated air from your furnace stays inside your home, while cold air stays outside. The HVAC system won’t need to work as hard to keep the house comfortable, and because of the reduced strain, the furnace will experience less wear and have a longer life span.

Which Windows Are Best?

Double- or triple-paned windows with gas seals, wood or vinyl frames, and high-quality construction are the most efficient. You should also invest in windows that have low-E glass treatments. Low-emissivity glass is treated with metallic coatings that reflect heat and light, which directs warm air back into your home. Passive low-E coatings, also known as hard coats, fuse tin with the glass during manufacturing, while solar coatings, or soft coats, imbue the glass with silver particles after manufacturing. Both are effective heat barriers, but solar coatings offer the most benefit.

You can gauge a window’s exact efficiency by checking its U-rating or R-value. A U-rating measures how much heat passes through the window, with low ratings being the best. R-value refers to a feature’s ability to block heat transfer, and higher values are better. If you reside in a cold climate, like Cincinnati, look for a U-rating below 0.39 or an R-value above R-2.5. Products that are Energy Star® certified are also suitable, as they’ve passed rigorous testing to prove their efficiency.

Maximize the benefits of your replacement windows, and have your contractor choose Earthwise® windows from Tri-State Wholesale Building Supplies in Cincinnati, OH. They are manufactured locally, feature energy-saving designs, and are Energy Star certified. The team at Tri-State Wholesale Building Supplies has over 50 years of experience and will supply your contractor with quality windows perfect for your home. Explore their options online, and call (513) 381-1231 with any questions.