Our new blog is here to help you understand why your window matters and everything you’ll need to know to buy new windows.

The contractor was standing in our kitchen, late last summer, holding a tape measure across the window frame with his left hand and stretching a pencil to paper on the table with his right hand, taking down the measurements. Then came a wave of words and terms I didn’t understand: gas fills. Low-e coatings. Double glazing. We were talking about window matters, but before doing that would I need to buy some special dictionary?

Today, I know that the answer is no. You don’t need a dictionary, an online course, or hours of research just to live in a comfortable home, or to understand why windows make it possible. What you do need is the Efficient Windows Collaborative. Our mission is to help people understand how to pick windows, and it takes as little as a few minutes of your time to learn what you need on this website. Our next move is starting this blog. Welcome to Window Matters!

My name is Matt, and I’ll be your blogger-in-chief here. I’m a communications consultant based in Baltimore, Maryland, and I work with the efficiency experts who run the Efficient Windows Collaborative to help spread an important message about efficient windows – your link to energy efficiency and interior comfort. We’ll also have posts from window experts on the blog, such as our own staff at our parent organization the National Fenestration Ratings Council. We’ll also bring in guests to write their own posts or for Q&A sessions: energy-efficiency advisors, green builders, private-sector innovators, and government researchers.

But most of the time you’ll be hearing from me: a writer by trade and a homeowner just trying to use what little brainpower I have left at the end of another busy day to understand more about my house — the most expensive thing I have to manage. Our family has lived in our Baltimore townhouse for three years now, and when we bought it we made a wish list for upgrades that remains, sadly, quite long. We can’t afford to do it all at once. Of all the things we need to research, windows have become one of the easier ones thanks to this site’s Window Selection Tool. This customized search engine will give you a list of windows available right now and perfectly suited to your house. It considers the climate, house size, window size, and whether the glass faces north, south, east, or west. The tool can even estimate your savings over time if you opt for efficient windows, like the ones certified by ENERGY STAR®. After I plugged in my own details, I got curious and tried our previous house, and then my dad’s house, just to see the differences.

Even though the tool is really the fastest way to find out what windows are right for you, I was still curious about what goes into them and wanted to understand more. Stick with me here and I’ll share with you in the coming weeks and months what I’ve learned, and then we’ll go learn more together. Our next few posts will explain:

  • how to tell if your windows need replacing
  • how to use the NFRC labels on new windows to make the right choice and get what you paid for
  • how to find and qualify for the many tax incentives and rebates available for energy-efficient windows
  • how to make sure your windows are properly installed
  • the new technologies that will make windows even more awesome in the future

 

Matt is a communications consultant based in Baltimore, Maryland, who works with the efficiency experts who run the Efficient Windows Collaborative to help spread an important message about efficient windows.