Four Window Frame Options For Energy-Efficient Double-Glazing
Americans are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental footprint, and this means that energy efficiency has a key factor in many types of home improvement projects, especially when it comes to fitting new windows. Upgrading to double-glazed windows can significantly reduce heat losses in winter, minimizing the energy used for heating your home. Equally, energy-efficient windows can help lower your cooling costs since you will need to use your air-conditioning system much less often if the sun's rays are kept out thanks to double-glazed windows and doors.
Please note that the frame of any double-glazed window is an integral part of its overall thermal performance. If it isn't insulated well, then you won't have a truly energy-efficient window. Read on to find out more about the main options available today for double-glazed window frames.
Wooden frames have been used for centuries, and for a number of good reasons. Firstly, wood has high insulating properties, making it an excellent choice for energy-efficient windows. Additionally, the natural grain also adds to its traditional appeal. Moreover, when properly maintained, wooden frames can last for decades. Although wood is also of the more expensive options, it won't drop in terms of its energy efficiency performance as it ages. You just need to paint it every few years to keep it in good condition.
Secondly, vinyl windows are a common choice for frames these days, largely due to the material's cost-effectiveness and low maintenance needs. Also known as PVC, vinyl frames are resistant to weathering, rust, and corrosion, and require only occasional cleaning. Because they are hollow, they use trapped air to help their thermal efficiency. However, their frames can also be filled with insulation material, thereby considerably enhancing their energy efficiency.
In the past, aluminum frames meant little chance of installing energy-efficient windows. After all, aluminum is a good conductor of heat, which is the last thing you want when you're trying to trap it. Despite this, aluminum is robust, lightweight, and requires little maintenance. Their strength makes for slim frames, which can maximize the glazed area, thereby allowing for more sunlight to flow in. Today, many double-glazing frames made from aluminum are designed with a thermal break, essentially a layer of insulating material between the inside and outside of the frame. This significantly improves insulation, making the metal a good choice for energy-efficient double-glazing.
Finally, wood-plastic composite (WPC) frames offer a reasonable blend of benefits that marries the best of wood with synthetic materials. WPC frames are made of wood fibers and plastic. They possess good insulating properties, just like wooden frames, while being highly durable and virtually maintenance-free because you don't need to keep painting them.
For more information about energy-efficient windows, reach out to a local supplier.