high performance custom home

Why is window selection important when designing a high-performance home?

Window selection is important when designing a high-performance home because windows can significantly impact the energy efficiency, comfort, and overall performance of a new custom home, or renovation project.

Windows allow natural light to enter the home, provide natural ventilation, and can offer beautiful views of the outdoors. However, they are also a major source of energy loss in a home, particularly in regions with extreme temperatures. In fact, traditional windows can account for up to 30% of a home’s heating and cooling energy use. At Frontiers Design Build, we are diligent in doing deep research into the windows and doors we are using. Their performance data is available through the manufacture, and often must meet strict certification guidelines in order to be used in a high-performance application. These windows are typically triple pane, airtight, and very robustly constructed. 

Therefore, choosing energy-efficient windows is critical for a high-performance custom home. Energy-efficient windows are designed to minimize heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, while also providing adequate ventilation and natural light.

There are several factors to consider when selecting energy-efficient windows:

1. Window frame material: Window frames can be made of wood, vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, or a combination of these materials. Each material has its own pros and cons in terms of durability, maintenance, cost, and energy efficiency.

2. Glazing: The type of glass used in windows can greatly impact energy efficiency. Double-pane or triple-pane windows with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings can help to reduce heat transfer and improve insulation. Argon or krypton gas between the panes can further improve insulation.

3. Window orientation and shading: The orientation of windows and the amount of shading can impact their energy performance. South-facing windows can help to capture heat from the sun in the winter, while west-facing windows can lead to excessive heat gain in the summer. Proper shading, such as overhangs or shading devices, can help to reduce the amount of direct sunlight that enters the home.

4. Air leakage: Proper installation and sealing of windows is important to prevent air leakage, which can lead to drafts and energy loss.

By selecting energy-efficient windows that are properly installed and sealed, homeowners can improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their high-performance custom home. This can lead to lower energy bills, improved indoor comfort, and a more sustainable living environment.

Learn more about current homes being built and see past projects on our High Performance Homes page.

Contact us today to get started on your next High Performance project.