BY FABRICIO DE ARAUJO
Summer has arrived and with it comes the sun and hot weather. Anyone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area knows that cities like Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas can reach temperatures near 100 on hot summer days and then drop drastically at night. In these conditions, older windows cannot only wreak havoc on your electric bill but can cause your home to be very uncomfortable.
Here are a few things to do/keep in mind:
Start by walking up to the windows, especially ones that face south or southwest, and touch them. At this time of year, windows that are double paned and have an aluminum frame are going to be hot. All metal frame windows conduct a lot of heat in the home especially black metal frame windows.
It is important to understand that aluminum is a big conductor of heat, so it brings in a lot of heat into the house in the summertime. (It also brings cold into the house in the winter.)
If you touch a vinyl frame window, wood frame window or even a fiberglass window, you are not going to feel any heat coming from that frame, so the frame is very important in reducing heat in the summertime.
The next thing to consider is the glass in the window. A lot of people assume that if they have double pane windows, then they have thermal efficient windows. Often this is not the case.
If you have double pane aluminum windows, then most likely they were installed in the ‘80s or ‘90s. These windows are no longer used any more, because they don’t pass the Title 24 codes. (Simply put, Title 24 is a mandate that requires certain standards of energy efficiency to be met in all new construction and building alterations in both residential and nonresidential buildings.)
In addition, double pane windows with just clear glass don’t really do anything. Today’s double pane windows do not use clear glass. With today’s technology, new windows are using a high performance system that
has a metallic coating on the glass that you don’t notice but it reflects radiant heat and ultraviolet rays from the sun. This gives you a thermally efficient window both in the summer and in the winter by reducing radiant heat and shortwave radiation.
Windows can reduce the heat inside your home. Getting windows replaced makes a remarkable difference in fully using your home again or just using part of it when it’s hot. For instance, a lot of people don’t use the west or south facing rooms on a hot day, because it’s intolerable to go in and they can’t deal with it. It’s also important to understand that with the combination of heat rising and heat entering the house because of poor quality windows, this presents additional problems using portions of the house. By replacing these windows with new energy-efficient products, you have gained rooms that you normally don’t go into in the summer.
In the summer months, running the air conditioner all day is very expensive. Replacing your windows with high performance windows, you are not only reducing the heat that would be coming in, you will be reducing your utility costs. Think of your old windows as holes in your house that are by far the least energy-efficient part of the wall.
So, get started today with new, energy-efficient windows for your house. Contact Custom Exteriors for a free in-home consultation. Let them show you the difference in the thermal efficiency of their window products and the windows you currently have. Installing new windows now can change the way you live in your home.