Find Energy-Efficient Windows with the Window Selection Tool
Energy-efficient windows play a pivotal role in addressing a surprising fact: buildings stand as the largest consumers of energy in the United States. These windows contribute significantly to nearly 40% of primary energy use, 75% of the nation’s electricity consumption, and about one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. This inclusive category encompasses offices, stores, apartments, schools, hospitals, houses, and myriad other buildings scattered across cities, suburbs, and small towns throughout the country.
Recently, there has been a lot of attention paid to improving building efficiency with tax rebates, credits, and incentives. While most of these focus on the benefits of heat pumps, solar power, and improved insulation, windows are often overlooked as part of the solution. In fact, windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of a home’s wasted energy through heat and cooling loss. With that, home and building improvements must include energy-efficient, high-performing windows. Even the most efficient heat pump, solar panel, or insulation can’t stop the energy from flying out of an old, inefficient window.
That’s where the Efficient Window Collaborative’s (EWC) proprietary Window Selection Tool (WST) comes in to help. This online tool connects consumers with easy-to-understand information and resources to find energy-efficient windows for their homes. In turn, this saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing utility bills and improving indoor comfort and health.
To use the WST, consumers enter their ZIP code into the field, which indicates the ENERGY STAR® climate zone where the home is located. This affects the types of windows in the search result because the energy-performance needs for a home in Phoenix are different from those in Minneapolis. Consumers then provide the age and size of the home because these factors also affect energy use. The bigger the house, the more energy is used to heat or cool it. The same can be said for an older home vs. a newer one.
From there, the tool spits out a list of energy-efficient windows ranked as “good,” “better,” or “best.” The search results also provide fair, accurate, and credible data from the NFRC label. To make things even easier, the WST shows a window manufacturer’s location so homeowners know the window they find will be sold in their community.
With all ENERGY STAR®-certified windows in the tool, there are more than 8,000 windows from 180 manufacturers to choose from. ENERGY STAR certification ensures the windows have undergone rigorous testing and rating processes to meet stringent EPA standards. People who replace old windows with ENERGY STAR-certified efficient versions can expect their monthly electricity bill to drop by about 11%, according to the program’s calculations.
Energy-efficient tax credits make it appealing for homeowners to upgrade and replace their old, drafty windows. Incentives or rebates are available for installing energy-efficient windows; homeowners can earn an energy tax credit of 30% of the cost of new windows, up to a maximum $600.
Try out the Window Selection Tool here. Or watch this video for a short demonstration. Either way, you can find a window that meets your needs and potentially reduces some of that wasted energy that comes from buildings.