The move towards using more energy-efficient products is a growing trend that can now also be seen in the window-making industry. Advancements in technology have enabled windows to provide more insulation and sealing, thereby letting these fixtures let light pass through without letting much heat come along with it. These features help make summers in Maine, New England cooler, and winters warmer, for people staying indoors.
With many windows on the market, choosing a good fit for your home can become difficult. Many products would also boast of energy efficiency. You could start narrowing your choices by picking the windows marked with Energy Star labels. These can qualify you for federal tax credits that you can use to offset any tax liabilities. However, HouseLogic.com writer Karin Beuerlein says that not all available products give you this opportunity.
For windows or doors to qualify for the credit, two NFRC-supplied measurements must each be equal to or less than 0.3, regardless of climate: U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). You must also have the manufacturer’s signed statement that the product complies with IRS requirements. This either comes with purchase or can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.
Don’t be swayed by ratings the manufacturer may post on its own label. A window or door’s frame and other components (weather stripping, sidelights, transoms) can significantly affect its energy efficiency, so NFRC measures based on the entire unit, not just the window glass or door slab alone. Manufacturers, on the other hand, sometimes report values that don’t take the entire unit into account, according to Energy Star.
There are many contractors you can ask to install or replace windows in Maine, but remember to choose ones who can help you qualify for tax credits, like Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement. This company uses units made by Andersen Windows, a manufacturer that ensures each unit, regardless of style, would get good Energy Star ratings.
Putting up Andersen windows in Maine homes can be a great way of cutting down heating and cooling costs because these are made to be energy-efficient in any type of climate. With their Fibrex material and low energy glass panes, these windows need low maintenance but give high performance.
(Excerpt from Understanding Energy Ratings for Windows and Doors, HouseLogic.com, January 04, 2013)