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Home Replacement Windows: What’s Your R-Value?

Posted: 15 Dec 2009 04:37 PM PST

Today, everyone from President Obama to Green Building Advisor Martin Holladay is talking windows – those that save money and save energy.

At a Home Depot store in Virginia, Obama explained how retrofitting buildings and investing in “energy-efficient windows and doors” is the biggest bang for the buck for economic growth, environmental initiatives and energy efficiency.

Martin posted a fantastic summary and is leading a great discussion on Windows That Perform Better Than Walls.

His technical explanations dive deep into the relationships and qualities of insulation values (R-value or U-value) and solar gain and a concept that we specialize in, and the critical art of directional “tuning” glass values based on a building’s position in relation to the sun. He discusses different standards such as Canada’s ER (Energy Rating) method and Passive House – one specifically that emphasizes the fine balance of solar energy gains and losses, super-insulation, advanced window technology, air tightness, and ventilation. Read more about Passive House here.

It is pretty simple. This chart details the amount of money you can save replacing your home’s old single pane windows (an R-value of 1.0) with other windows on the market. Super-insulating windows of higher R-values can help you save the highest percentage of heating and cooling costs when compared to other “energy-saving” windows available today.  Even compared to typical Energy Star windows (they are usually dual pane low-e windows with an insulating value of R-2.5 to R-2.8 depending on geography).

The data for this chart is based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s RESFEN model and is an average taken from 5 typical cities across the U.S.:


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    txwex said, dba Home Energy Consultants is a Direct Sales Contracting & Consulting Company serving American Consumers since 1974 throughout the Midwest and the Rocky Mountain Region. 1.888.679.4782. via NWA Home Builders Association Home Show 2010

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