Do New Windows Help with Heat? Exploring the Impact of Upgrading Your Home’s Windows

April 18, 2024
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Upgrading windows is a promising solution among the various avenues for achieving energy efficiency and reducing utility bills. But do new windows help with heat?

Summer’s scorching heat can turn your house into an oven. Air conditioners work tirelessly, and energy bills skyrocket. But what if there was a way to keep your home cooler naturally, reducing reliance on AC and saving money? This is where new windows come in. Upgrading your windows can significantly impact your home’s ability to manage heat, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Kryger Glass is a residential glass company in Kansas with decades of experience. We can help you explore the benefits of new windows and choose the right ones for a cooler, more comfortable home.

How Windows Affect Heat Gain

Windows are a double-edged sword when it comes to heat. They allow sunlight to enter, which can be delightful on a cool day. However, on scorching days, that sunlight translates to unwanted heat gain within your home. Traditional single-pane windows, or even older double-pane windows with poor insulation, act almost like heat conductors, letting the sun’s rays pass through and warm the interior.

Here’s a breakdown of how windows contribute to heat gain:

  • Conduction: Heat directly transfers through the window pane like any solid object.
  • Solar Radiation: Sunlight carries heat, and windows allow much of it to enter your home.
  • Air Infiltration: Drafty windows allow hot outside air to leak into your cool interior.

Do New Windows Help with Heat?

If you wonder, “Will new windows keep my house cooler?” Yes, they do. Modern windows are designed with energy efficiency in mind and offer several features that combat heat gain.

Double or Triple Panes: These windows have multiple glass panes with insulating gas (often argon or krypton) trapped in between. The gas acts as a barrier, significantly reducing heat transfer through conduction.

Low-Emissivity (Low-E) Coatings: A microscopic coating applied to the glass reflects solar radiation, allowing light to pass through while bouncing heat outside. Different Low-E coatings cater to specific climates.

Improved Frames: Modern window frames are made from materials like vinyl or fiberglass, offering better insulation than traditional wooden frames.

Tight Seals: New windows boast superior sealing mechanisms that prevent air leakage, keeping hot outside air at bay.

How To Keep Windows Cool, Especially in Summer

While you can’t necessarily cool down the windows themselves, there are several ways to reduce the heat radiating through them during the summer significantly.

Block Direct Sunlight

This is the most effective way to prevent your windows from heating your home. Window treatments like blinds, shades, and awnings can significantly reduce heat gain. Exterior options like awnings or rolling shutters offer even more protection by blocking sunlight before it hits the window.

Use Reflective Window Treatments

Look for blinds or shades with a reflective backing that bounces sunlight outside. This can be particularly effective for south-facing windows that receive the brunt of the sun’s rays during the day.

Consider Window Film

Applying a heat-reflective film to your windows is a clear, removable option that can significantly reduce heat gain. These films typically reflect infrared radiation while allowing visible light to pass through. Consult a window specialist to ensure you choose a film compatible with your windows.

Plant Deciduous Trees Strategically

Planting trees around your house, particularly on the south side, can provide natural shade for your windows. However, choose deciduous trees that will lose their leaves in the winter, allowing sunlight to warm your home during colder months.

Improve Window Air Sealing

Drafty windows can let in hot outside air, defeating the purpose of keeping your windows cool. Check the caulking and weatherstripping to ensure a snug fit around your windows.If necessary, reseal any gaps to prevent air leaks.

Close Windows During Daytime

 This may seem obvious, but keeping your windows closed during the hottest part of the day can significantly reduce heat gain. Open them at night for cooler air ventilation.

Ceiling Fans

While not directly addressing the windows, ceiling fans set to rotate counter-clockwise can create a cooling wind chill effect, making you feel cooler.

Tips When Choosing New Windows

Since older residential glass may let a lot of heat in, especially in summer, installing new, energy-efficient windows can significantly improve your home’s heat management. Consider these factors when choosing new windows:

Climate: For hot climates, prioritize low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). SHGC indicates how much solar heat a window transmits. A lower SHGC reflects better heat rejection. Conversely, for colder climates, focus on windows with a good U-factor, which measures heat transfer through the window itself. A lower U-factor signifies better insulation.

Window Style: Casement windows with tight seals offer excellent energy efficiency. Awning windows provide good ventilation and can help keep out direct sunlight. Double-hung windows offer versatility but may not be as energy-efficient as casement styles.

Kryger Glass is a trusted company that offers window glass replacement in Kansas City.  With their expertise and commitment to quality, Kryger Glass can help you choose the right windows to keep your home cool and your energy bills low.

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