General Information, Windows and Doors

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Deep Energy Retrofit: Apply the Energy Efficiency Pyramid

Posted on February 28,2015 by ChrisBriley in deep energy retrofit

This is the last installment in the Green Architects' Lounge trilogy on deep energy retrofits. In this episode, Phil and I discuss the importance of sizing your new HVAC system to the heat load of your newly renovated house. (This is where that energy audit information, which we mentioned in previous episodes, is going to come in handy.)

Don't Let This Happen to You

Posted on February 28,2015 by Mike_Maines in Door weatherstripping

Door design details The photo at right is from an entry that's just 15 years old. Fortunately, it was able to be repaired. I haven’t always been so lucky. Let’s just say that replacing subfloor and framing is no fun. A safe assumption is that, for one reason or another, doors always leak. They shouldn’t, but they do. Seals wear out. Wind blows. Jambs rot. Sills crack. Weepholes clog. Following are some ways to mitigate the chance of damage.

Choose windows with low thermal conductivity

Posted on February 28,2015 by Peterbilt in Add a floor above

**Some window frame and sash materials conduct heat and cold more easily than others, which increases heating and cooling costs.**

For example: On a hot day, the inside surface of a highly-conductive metal window may approach the outdoor temperature, yet a foam-filled PVC window would be closer to conditioned indoor temperatures. Windows made with low-conductivity sash and frame parts will improve whole-house energy performance.

Lower energy costs with super-windows

Posted on February 28,2015 by Peterbilt in New construction

**High insulating value, low maintenance**

Exceed code requirements on window U-values

Posted on February 28,2015 by Peterbilt in Add a floor above

**High performance windows are a good investment.** Energy codes set minimum U-values for windows by climate zone, but exceeding these standards means more energy savings. U-values are the inverse of R-values used to rate insulation, so lower U-values mean higher insulating values for windows. Typically, windows with the lowest U-values have double glass with one low-e surface, argon gas, low-conductivity glass spacers and frames. They may also be triple glazed. The National Fenestration Rating Council maintains a list of certified windows at it web site (see Further Resources).

Bring in more light with skylights and clerestory windows

Posted on February 28,2015 by Peterbilt in Add a floor above

**More light makes for a cheerful, healthy interior.** Brightly lit interiors also cut down on the need for electric lights, an energy savings. Skylights are usually less expensive than adding a clerestory, which can require elaborate roof and wall framing. One caution: both skylights and clerestories can increase solar heat gain and glare.

Learn more in the Green Building Encyclopedia

[Sun: Passive Heating and Daylighting](node/11548 "Design Around the Sun to Lower Heating and Lighting Needs")

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