Depending on the day, Texas homeowners can experience hot, humid, rainy, windy, or cold weather. Did you know your windows are the key to ensuring that your home stays comfortable, no matter what the weather is like outside?
Whether you’re installing windows for the first time or the fifth, finding the right windows for your home can be overwhelming. In this blog, we’ll walk you through how to choose the best windows for your Texas home, including:
- Why your windows matter (hint: the choice you make could save you $$$!)
- The best window frame for your Texas home
- Window types and features
Want to learn more about window installation with Jon Wayne? Schedule a free estimate to have one of our technicians walk you through your install options!
Why Do Your Windows Matter?
According to Energy Saver, heat gain and loss through windows accounts for 25–30% of heating and cooling energy use. In other words, identifying the appropriate windows for your home will not only make your home more comfortable, but it will also save you money on your monthly energy bill.
Good windows keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out, so in Texas, really good windows can keep cool, conditioned air in and hot, humid air out. Because Texans also have to deal with hurricane risk, some homeowners choose shatter-resistant windows to help keep windows intact and homes standing in the case of heavy winds or flying debris.
The best windows for your home are those that will maximize energy efficiency in your climate. Two factors impact the efficiency of your windows: the window frame and the window itself. We’ll discuss each in detail below.
The Best Window Frame for Your Texas Home
Window frames vary in terms of durability, efficiency, and cost. The best window frame for your home is one that can withstand the demands of the Texas climate while minimizing energy loss.
There are several different types of window frames, including:
Texas’ humid weather makes composite and wood window frames susceptible to rot. Aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl frames are better choices for Texas homes because they are resistant to wear and tear from sun, heat, and moisture. Additionally, aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl frames can all contain insulation, making them less likely to allow energy loss.
At Jon Wayne, we supply commercial-grade aluminum windows that are stronger, more advanced, and more efficient than standard aluminum window frames because we’ve found them to be the best option for our San Antonio homeowners.
Window Types and Features
Window technology has a major impact on the effectiveness of your windows. There are several window features to look out for.
Number of panes. Maybe you’ve heard of single-, double, or triple-pane windows, but what do those terms really mean? Single-pane windows are windows with only 1 piece of glass. Double-pane windows have 2 pieces of glass separated by a small, insulated gap. Triple-pane windows have 3 pieces of glass, each separated by a small, insulated gap.
Because double- and triple-pane windows are insulated, they are more effective at keeping cold, conditioned air in your home. Triple-pane windows are typically used in colder climates; for Texas homes, double-pane windows provide adequate insulation.
Gas fills. You might be wondering how double- and triple-pane windows are insulated, since you can’t see anything between the panes of glass. That’s because windows are insulated using colorless, non-toxic gas, typically krypton or argon. Both krypton and argon gas fills are effective at reducing heat transfer through your windows.
Glazing. In order to enhance their light-reflecting properties, windows can be glazed with a low-emissivity (low-E) coating. Normally, this glazing occurs before you purchase the window, but you can also do it yourself at home to increase window efficiency.
The thin, colorless glazing on low-E windows reflects light, preventing sunlight from warming up your home. In fact, low-E windows reduce energy loss from windows by as much as 30–50%.
Efficiency ratings. While there are several different efficiency ratings for windows, some of the most valuable to look out for are the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and the U-factor.
- SHGC. The SHGC value of a window measures how well the window reflects solar heat. SHGC values can be between 0 and 1—a rating of 0 means no solar heat will enter through the window, and a rating of 1 means the maximum amount of heat will enter through the window. Ideally, the SHGC for your home’s windows would be as low as possible. In Texas, all windows are required to have an SHGC of 0.25 or below.
- U-factor. A window’s U-factor indicates how well a window prevents heat loss. U-factor can be between 0.14 and 1.20, with a lower U-factor meaning a window is more efficient. In Texas, windows must have a U-factor of 0.4 or below.
When reviewing these efficiency ratings, be sure to determine whether you’re viewing “whole-unit” or “center-of-glass” SHGC and U-factor ratings. Center-of-glass ratings indicate the efficiency of the window without taking the window frame into account. As a result, center-of-glass ratings can be misleading in terms of overall window energy efficiency.
Additional features. At Jon Wayne, we offer several additional window features, including tempered glass, obscured privacy glass, and windows with grids or grilles. Contact us to learn more about our custom window treatments.
When you’re ready for new windows, we’re prepared to give you the best.
All Jon Wayne windows are low-E, argon-filled, double-pane windows. Installing windows with us means you not only get the highest quality product for your home, but you get a 5-star installation service over 8,000 happy customers are raving about.