One of the largest contributors to a home’s energy efficiency is its windows. Energy-efficient windows — like the ones Energy Star provides — can lower your energy costs and increase your home’s comfort, while reducing your carbon footprint and your home’s value.

Here’s what to look for in energy-efficient, environ mentally friendly windows:

• The Energy Star logo. That blue Energy Star logo designates products that meet strict energy-saving guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency. Windows and doors with an Energy Star designation lower household energy use, which saves you money and helps protect the environment.

• Low U-values. In addition to Energy Star ratings, look for windows and doors with low U-values, which means they resist the transfer of heat — the lower the U-value, the better. Double-pane insulating glass windows, with a gas-filled space between the glass, can insulate more than two times better than single-pane windows, based on a comparison of U-values.

• Recycled materials.


Evaluate the amount of recycled content used, either post-consumer or post-industrial. The roll-formed alu-minum cladding — the metal exterior that protects the wood from the weather on Pella’s wood windows and doors — is made from more than 95 percent recycled aluminum material.

• Product material.

Wood windows utilize renewable resources. There are several wood certification systems available, the most well-known being the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Most of the well-known certification systems are developed and used with the same key purpose in mind; to practice sustainable forestry.

• Your location. Win dows allow for natural day-lighting, which reduces or eliminates the need for artificial lighting, saving on your electrical use. Plus, your climate or area within the United States has specific requirements to qualify for Energy Star certification.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.