Energy Efficiency 101: Your Guide to Finding the Right Windows

5 things to look for when shopping for new energy-efficient windows.

Increased energy efficiency is expected when you install any new window, but some products are better than others. Look for these 5 things that can help improve performance and increase comfort in your home.

1. Glass.  Choose windows with double- or triple-pane glass. Multiple panes of glass create an air chamber that can dramatically increase energy efficiency.

2. Installation.  Faulty installation could result in drafts, water infiltration and poor operation of your windows. Proper installation helps ensure a tight seal for increased energy efficiency and easy operation.

3. Exposure.  Different areas of your home may benefit from specific Low-E (low-emissivity) glass types that can help:

- Block the heat of the sun.

- Provide excellent insulation from the cold.

- Block harmful UV rays to help prevent fade damage.

4. Region.  Climate and weather patterns can help determine what kind of windows and glass types are best suited to increase the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.

5. Frame.  Pella offers three energy-efficient frame types. Choose the material that’s right for your home.

- Wood provides excellent energy efficiency and the most design options inside and out.

- Fiberglass has insulating properties similar to wood and can withstand extreme heat and subzero cold.

- Vinyl features multichambered frames and fully welded sashes for exceptional energy efficiency and strength.

- Avoid aluminum! While inexpensive and durable, aluminum has a poorer insulation rating, with frames that actually conduct more heat or cold into your home.

Look for the Labels
For the greatest energy-saving potential, look for windows with these labels:


ENERGY STAR® certified. Installing ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors lowers energy costs and helps keep your home's temperature consistently comfortable. With more efficient windows, you also use less energy, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

NFRC Label

The NFRC label. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a nonprofit organization for the window industry that developed an energy rating system based on whole-unit product performance – not just the glass performance. It’s the only reliable way to determine the entire window’s energy performance and compare products side by side.

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