Best Windows for Cold Weather

Investing in the right windows is one of the best ways of staying cozy and warm during the winter.

Even if your HVAC system is in perfect working order, the wrong type of window may make it work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your house. You will have high energy bills as a result of this.

To keep your home comfortable in cold climates, you must consider several factors when selecting the most appropriate windows for cold climates.

Continue reading to learn how to choose the best cold-weather windows for your house.

What Role do Windows Play in Cold Weather?

Windows can significantly impact your life, especially when your home is in cold climate areas.

Your choice of windows will influence your comfort. Selecting the right windows can also remarkably lower your monthly energy costs and add value to your home.

 During the winter months, windows with better insulators prevent heat loss. They are vital for protecting your property against moisture damage.

Overall, employing expert window installers can help eradicate the unpleasant discomfort of hot climates.

Choosing windows whose design is not fit for cold weather can be troublesome since they can neither contain warm air nor keep the cold air out.

This results in additional energy consumption because your HVAC systems have to overwork.

As the colder climates approach, you need to equip yourself with the best window.

What Constitutes Cold Weather Windows?

A window frame and window panel are the central parts you should consider when buying new windows.

Both elements play critical roles when you want to brace yourself for the cold weather.

Your Ultimate Guide for Choosing Cold Climate Window Frames

Essentially, most of the heat transfer takes place through the window frame.

For this reason, the proper working conditions of the structure should be a priority. Its components also contribute to its insulation properties.

The window frames have three features that facilitate air leakage. These include the sash, perimeter, and sill. The airflow from this part is what can increase your utility bill by far.

You have probably heard of the window sill. It is the lowest fragment of the window. As the name suggests, the perimeter is the element that covers the whole edge of the window.

Lastly, the sash constitutes the fragment that fits inside the frame. You can push it sideways and from top to bottom.

The window frame parts can allow air to flow in and out, which will not favor your heating bills. Therefore, hiring a professional window replacement specialist to guarantee proper installation will be vital.

When preparing for cold weather, there are four types of recommendable window frames that you can choose. Which are:

  • Wooden frames
  • Fiberglass frames
  • Composite frames
  • vinyl window frames  

Ideally, it would help to go for the wood with vinyl cladding option. It is essential for preventing heat transfer, while the vinyl coating will be a protective cover for the wood.

Besides, a combination of vinyl and fiberglass can be remarkable. It would be best if you were ready to spend a crucial amount on fiberglass as it can be costly.

The last mistake you want to make is investing in aluminum frames. Aluminum frames are not the best choice for cold climates since it easily releases heat into their surroundings.

As indicated earlier, aluminum, although low-maintenance, facilitates heat transfer. Therefore, if you choose the aluminum window frames, it would be best to consider their hybrid alternatives.

Similarly, while non-conductive, wood frames are susceptible to expansion and contraction with temperature changes.

Besides, they are prone to rot upon exposure to moisture. Hence, purchasing vinyl laces and wood frames are the best options.

In addition, find an expert who will appropriately seal and waterproof any spaces around the windows.

Therefore, finding certified, licensed, and experienced window installation professionals are imperative.

How to Choose Window Glass for Cold Weather

What you do not want during the cold winters is a single-pane window. They cannot absorb heat in cold climates properly. You need better insulation to prevent heat loss through window panes.

Therefore, double and triple panes of glass designed with low e-coatings are preferable.

These types of window panes undergo treatment where experts lace them with a thin metallic layer that facilitates the absorption of sunlight.

The coating is especially crucial for properties in the Northern states with extremely cold weather. They attract sunlight and filter out UV rays to maintain indoor warmth.

Besides, double and triple-glazed windows have spacer structures for protection against condensation. Proper glass selection decreases energy loss and facilitates insulation.

Besides, the insulation agents used on the double and triple glass panes are inert gasses. The argon or krypton gas fills and insulates the spaces better than air due to their high density.

Besides, argon is a crucial thermal break. Thus, investing in an argon-coated double or triple glass package provides you with better insulators all year round.

Also, the solar heat gain coefficient of the windows you choose matters. It is prudent to go for windows that have a high SHGC rating. Likewise, you look for the lowest u-factor in windows before you purchase.

When looking for cold-weather windows, there are specific energy performance ratings that you should be on the lookout for in the process.

These include the U-factor, visible transmittance, R-value, and the SHGC ratings.

  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): the SHGC rating establishes the ability of your windows to let in or prevent heat absorption from the sun. The aspect ranks energy performance from 0-1, where 0 indicates the least while 1 shows the highest heat gains. The best thing you can do for your home is let in as much natural light as you can during the cold weather. Therefore, high SHCG ratings are recommendable.
  • U-Factor: The rating evaluates how your windows prevent heat loss. The lowest U-factor is 0.14, and it encompasses the highest energy efficiency. You should seek free consultation to discover your U-factor requirements based on your geographical location in the United States. If you live in the Northern states like Connecticut, you need a lower u-factor rating of 0.27 or greater.
  • R-Value: The rating determines the efficacy of insulation. If you live in a cold climate, the US requirement for your R-value should range between 13-21.
  • Visible Transmittance (VT): The energy aspect evaluates the amount of light transmitted through a window. VT ratings range from 0-1 (highest to lowest). It is an element that should most concern people who live in hot climates. Since knowledge is power, we thought you should keep it in mind.

Secure the Ideal Windows for Cold Weather from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)

The NFRC will provide you with advanced and energy-saving windows to transform your comfort. Besides, it will help you know the various energy-efficient window packages you can get.

Most importantly, you can use the energy star label to determine if you are on the right track.

Choose the Best Windows for Cold Weather

The low-cost options can be tempting when preparing for the cold winters.

However, choosing durable and energy-efficient window frames, panes, and glasses is in your best interest.

High-quality options will protect your entire household from severely cold climates. The right windows will provide comfort and reduce the high energy costs.

by Richard Kelly

Having experienced significant success as a house flipper, I am often approached with questions about all things home improvement. That’s why I decided to start this site. My objective is to share all of the insights I have accumulated over the years so other people can design the homes of their dreams.