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An ultimate thermal windows buying guide for homeowners

Are you looking to replace your wear-and-tear home windows with new energy-saving ones? If yes, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the variety of choices. Not only are windows diversified by their visual and technical characteristics, but also by their glass type. Most energy-saving window units come with thermal or double/ triple panes that work as effective insulators, preventing heated or cooled air loss from home.  To help you make a final choice about the window that will save you hundreds of bucks on energy costs, we have put together a short guide highlighting the facts you need to know about insulated thermal windows and their national average installation costs. Read on to clear all things out before spending any buck on new home windows.

An ultimate thermal windows buying guide for homeowners

What are thermal windows?

Thermal is the term used for windows that feature more than one pane of glass, ensuring reliable interior protection from weather variabilities, moisture, and noise. Triple- and double-paned units with a broad range of energy-saving additions, like a Low-E glass or argon/krypton gas that fills the space between panes, are considered thermal replacement windows of high quality. They keep your home cooler on hot days and warmer in the dead of winter, lowering the overall energy consumption and the HVAC system restraint.

Today's window market offers multiple combinations and types of Low-E glass systems that can be used to address different climate variabilities. However, compared to double-pane and thermal units, the latest ones offer more reliable protection of the home's interior due to their additional energy-saving layer.

What are the key benefits of thermal windows?

According to the Department of Energy, home windows and doors account for about 40% of energy spending. That means that any energy-efficiency upgrades made to your windows will lower your annual utility bills. In contrast to single-pane units, thermal windows will increase the home's insulation and energy performance, translating to around 25% savings on the heating and cooling bills. That is why it won't be a fault to say that new multiple-pane units with high energy-saving properties can quickly pay for themselves. 

Look at the list below to find out what else you can avail yourself of by replacing your old windows with thermal: 

  • High ROI. Installing thermal windows is one of a few home improvement projects, the initial cost of which can be fully compensated. They prevent heat from leaving your home, keeping it cozy even in nasty weather. That means you should not resort to heating devices to maintain a stable temperature, which can significantly reduce your electricity bills. Besides, it's proven that thermal windows increase the property's resale value as potential buyers will more likely buy a home with improved energy efficiency. 
  • Proper insulation. Thermal windows are good to install in any climate zone around the country. In winter, they efficiently preserve the heat a building absorbs from sunlight. In summer, they keep heat out from home, allowing you not to use the air conditioner day and night. Thus, every window expert agrees that insulated windows pricing is reasonable as these units give you much more than efficient temperature regulation - they give you the ultimate comfort you seek. 
  • Easy-to-clean. The construction of thermal windows makes them easy to clean from the interior and exterior. With these window units in your home, you can expect to save a bundle on professional cleaning services, even if you live on the upper floors. 
  • Noise reduction. The undeniable advantage of thermal windows is soundproofing. When these units are installed in your home, you don't hear any extraneous sounds from the outside. Thanks to double or triple-glazing, these windows can ensure your peace and quiet even in high-traffic areas. 

What to look for when shopping for insulated thermal windows?

The best way to pick an energy-efficient window with the highest insulation level is to consider the following factors while doing your shopping: 

  • U-value. First off, you have to ensure that a thermal window you're going to buy has a low U-value. This indicator measures heat loss and the rate at which it's lost. A high U-value means that heat moves freely, compromising the home's thermoregulation. On the contrary, a low U-value ensures ultimate thermal performance, keeping the heat in or out depending on the need. Window units with an A rate have the lowest U-value, while those that rated G have the highest or worst performing.
  • Solar heat gain coefficient. SHGC, or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, is an indicator measuring the amount of heat light penetrating a home. The best SHGC is unique for every climate area. Thermal windows with a high Solar Heat Gain Coefficient promote more natural light entering inside, boosting the efficiency of the home's heating. If you live in a cold climate where below zero temperatures are common, consider getting a unit with a high SHGC. However, if you reside in the southern states, you will be good with thermal windows featuring a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient as sunlight will be reflected out from the panes, keeping the home cool. 

Nevertheless, if you want to get the most out of your thermal windows replacement project, you should find a reputable window contractor or a company that can consult you on the right window type according to your requirements and local climate conditions. HomeQuote is the one-stop solution for those who need quick and free help searching for local window contractors. We are here to help you at every stage of the process, from matching offerings to signing a contract.

How much do thermal windows cost?

Do you plan to replace all home windows with energy-saving ones? Depending on the size and number of units you need to replace as well as their accessibility, you should expect to spend from $4425 to $8.650. As a rule, window configuration, brand, frame material, and additional energy-saving features appear to be the biggest cost-formation factors. A certain portion of the budget (around 15%) goes to labor. 

The cost of a thermal window with three panes, argon gas filling, and a vinyl frame is around $640 without labor. An averagely-rated contractor charges $75 - $120 per hour. The time needed to install one unit ranges from 2 to 4 hours.

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