Casement windows are the most energy efficient of the ventilating style windows. However, there are varying levels of efficiency, so it is important to know what to look for when considering this style. A very good resource is the U.S. DOE (Department of Energy). You can find listed all the terms you need to know, the Energy Star ratings for different manufacturers' models and what you need to do to qualify for the tax credit of up to $1500.
Why are casement windows more energy efficient?
Anytime there are seams in windows, anytime the frame meets the house, there will be air flow. As much as a third of your home's heat can escape through inefficient windows. Casements are a good choice when considering replacement windows because they have a better seal than most other window styles.
When closed, the sash presses directly on the frame, providing an almost airtight seal. The other reason casements are more energy efficient is that, because they open to the side, there are no seams or joints where the windows meet that will cause air leakage.
Terms to know when buying energy efficient casement windows
U-Factor: The u-factor is the amount of heat that moves through the glass in the window. To be Energy Star rated, the entire window (not just the glazing or the glass), must have a u-factor of 3.5 or below in northern climates, 4.0 or below in central climates and 7.5 or below in southern climates.
SHGC: solar heat gain coefficient. This is the amount of heat from the sun allowed to pass through the window. In southern climates, where the temperatures are higher, the SHGC number has to be 4.0 or lower to be Energy Star Rated. However, in northern climates, because keeping heat out is not as big a concern, a higher SHGC number would be appropriate.
There are many more terms to know when choosing energy efficient casement windows, but these are the most important numbers to pay attention to.
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