Focus on Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is a key feature for doors and windows, aided by Energy Star programs and the Department of Energy’s R-5 Volume Purchase Program. But while homeowners expect upgraded efficiency, it’s not the sole factor in decisions.
“At shows, customers always ask about triple-pane options, because more manufacturers are producing them, and they have become higher profile,” says Doug Cook, sales and marketing manager for Thermo-Tech Inc. “In general, homeowners want to buy the best value. They are conscious of energy efficiency, but they often use other factors as the key to their purchase decision. Our goal is to give them options so they can buy the window that best suits their preferences at their budget level.”
Triple-pane options aren’t always the most efficient choice, notes Dick Rouhoff, president of Hayfield Window & Door. “Triple-pane windows are growing, but we’re seeing more homeowners looking to get the most bang for their buck.” Hayfield produces hollow vinyl extrusions for double-hung windows, which can be filled with insulation. Coupled with low-e films and argon gas, the double hung can achieve a .24 U-value. “That provides high efficiency for less money than a triplepane window.”
Thermo-Tech’s Cook agrees that insulation provides a critical element for installations. “One area that’s been overlooked in talking about window energy efficiency is the need to insulate around the units,” he says. “People are in tune with that now, and it’s very important to achieving higher energy efficiency.”