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Feb 13, 2013 4:00 PM  PST  

GreenPointers: Windows 


February 2013
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Green Homes Now Labeled in LA County


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The Green Label Rebate Program was launched in July 2011 to encourage homeowners to get a GreenPoint Rated Label for their home by providing rebates for making the required upgrades.

Los Angeles County has surpassed the original goal of 200 Green Label projects thanks to overwhelmingly positive response from both homeowners and contractors.

Although the rebate program has ended, you can still make the upgrades to get GreenPoint Rated. Los Angeles County also encourages homeowners to take advantage of other incentives -- up to $4,500 -- available through Energy Upgrade California, which will continue well into the future.



Expanded Rebates in Los Angeles County
 
Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County has made it easier for you to make home improvements that can save energy and make your home more comfortable. You can now receive rebates of up to $4500 for upgrading your home.

Getting an Advanced Upgrade Package also helps you earn 20 of the 25 minimum points required for the Green Point Rated label.

Find out how much you can save today!



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A remodel can be a daunting process, especially if you want to make sure it's done in an environmentally friendly way. GreenPoint Rated provides you with resources and professionals that can help you keep track of all the details so that you can simply enjoy your healthy, green home.

The GreenPoint Rated Label is the mark of quality for green home upgrades, verifying that a home has been upgraded to proven green standards.

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GreenPointers: Windows

Our series of GreenPointers provides helpful tips for a healthier, greener home in a variety of topics. Today's topic is Windows.

Green Pointers

Windows give us a view out into the world, but that's not all they do. They also play a big role in how energy efficient and comfortable our homes are. During the warm months, older single-pane windows can allow unwanted heat into the home, and in the winter, they can account for as much as 25% of the home's heat loss.

Today's high performance double-pane windows reduce heating and cooling costs and keep homes more comfortable. If replacing single-pane windows with high performance windows isn't in your budget, consider lower-cost options such as applying solar control window film or installing storm windows.

Here are a few ways to make your windows more efficient.

Step 1

APPLY SOLAR WINDOW FILM

  Solar control window film can be applied to existing windows to reduce solar heat gain through the glass while still transmitting light and providing visibility. Look for products with a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.40 or lower, or shading coefficient (SC) of 0.44 or lower. The lower the SHGC or SC, the less heat the film will allow in.

Window film should only be used on single-pane windows. Consider using solar control film on all east- and west-facing single-pane windows to reduce heat gain into the home. Window films can be applied by a commercial installer; do-it-yourself products are also available at most home improvement stores.

 
Step 2

INSTALL STORM WINDOWS

  Storm windows are temporary windows installed over the standard window to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Some storm windows are designed to be installed on the window's interior, while others are mounted on the exterior. Measure existing windows and order storm windows from a window supplier. Storm window panes are typically mounted in the winter to provide additional insulation and wind protection, and then removed in the spring.
 
Step 3

LOOK FOR THE ENERGY STAR LOGO

  Once upon a time, windows were rarely more complicated than a single pane of glass mounted in a wood or metal frame. These days, windows are available in a dizzying array of options. Today's high performance windows have many features that make them stand out over basic single-pane windows, including:
  • Multiple panes of glass, with an air- or gas-filled space between them, to provide better insulation
  • Improved frame materials to reduce heat transfer and insulate better
  • Special low-e coatings on the glass to keep heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer
  • Warm edge spacers between the panes of glass to reduce heat flow and prevent condensation
In addition to the energy savings you will receive, there are many other reasons to replace existing single-pane windows with high performance windows. Your old windows may have rotted frames or sashes, or you may want to cut down on noise from outside or reduce drafts inside. Or perhaps you simply want to bring more daylight into certain rooms.

When shopping for new windows, choose double-pane products with a U-factor of 0.40 or less. Windows with a lower U-factor do a better job of insulating, and therefore provide more comfort and energy savings when it is cold outside.

In addition to a low U-factor, the windows should have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) that suits your climate and the window's orientation. A higher SHGC will allow more sun to heat the room, which is desirable in colder climates and in homes designed for passive solar heating (see our Major Remodeling and Additions Overview for information on passive solar design).

Wood, fiberglass and vinyl frames all insulate much better than aluminum frames. Some wood-frame windows are made with sustainably harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Visit www.efficientwindows.org for help in choosing the best criteria for windows in your climate and for your specific application. Check with your local utility company for rebate programs for high performance windows.

 


Read more tips on efficient windows from Green Point Rated.

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Source: Build It Green

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