One of the smartest investments you can make – not only to save on energy bills, but also to increase the value of your home or business – is to purchase energy-efficient windows. Before you make a final buying decision, make sure the windows you select have the following characteristics.

  • Multiple panes: Two panes provide a significant amount more insulation than a single-pane window, but three panes are even better.

  • Low-e coating: This is an extremely thin coating of metal that’s installed on one side of the glass facing the airspace in between the panes of the window. It may be metal, but it doesn’t block your view in any way because it’s so thin. If you live in a hot climate, the low-e coating can reflect heat back outside. If you live in a cold climate, it can attract and retain the warming rays of the sun.

  • Gases that insulate the window: Believe it or not, even windows need insulation in order to optimize their energy efficiency. Different types of gases are used for this purpose, such as Xenon, Krypton or Argon.

  • Frames made from sustainable material: Wood is the best choice, but they can cost more than some other types. If you can’t afford wood frames, look for composite or recycled materials.

  • Energy Star certification: The federal government established the Energy Star rating to indicate that a product meets certain energy conservation guidelines. Be sure whatever windows you choose have the Energy Star rating.


New windows ( / CC BY 2.0 (