One of the best things about having your own beautiful property is enjoying the outdoor space. Many people decide that one of the best ways to bring the outdoors, indoors, is to build or convert a current space in their home into a sunroom. But, old-school sunrooms can get hot. And humid. Which makes them unpleasant. Instead, get high efficiency windows to get the most out of your great new space.
Using Your Sunroom All Year
Of course, you’ve already looked at the layout of the sunroom and considered how much sun exposure it will receive. You’ve probably thought about how you’re going to use it year round, and you’re considering how to make it comfortable.
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Since as much as 60% of your sunroom can be made of glass – depending on your design – having high efficiency windows is a must.
But, there’s a right way to do it – a right way to make sure that you choose windows that help regulate temperature and keep moisture where it belongs, in addition to providing protection from the sun’s rays.
High Efficiency Window Glass
For sunrooms, you don’t want a glazed or double-paned window design. It won’t provide the comfort and balance you’re looking for.
Look for high efficiency windows rated on these two elements:
- U-factor (solar heat loss coefficient)
- SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient)
Basically, the lower the U-factor, the better the glass will retain heat, which means the less heat and/or air-conditioning will escape through the glass.
- Hint: Look for glass with a U-factor of 0.3 or lower, which is great energy efficiency for a sunroom.
Some glass may have tinting or plastic film on the interior of the glass, which can help increase energy efficiency and may be appropriate, depending on your design. Always look for the Energy Star stamp of approval on your high efficiency windows to know you’re getting the best.
Low-E glass is designed to reduce temperature transfer from indoors to outdoors, which also filtering out UV rays. Many people who are building year-round sunrooms in climates that get cold in the winter and hot in the summer, choose Low-E glass.
Argon and Krypton Gas Glass
Encased inside triple-paned, reinforced low-e glass, argon and krypton are natural gases that help insulate and provide excellent environmental protection.
High Efficiency Windows Frames
Older, less energy-efficient window frames were often aluminum or another metal that would transfer heat between the interior and exterior, and let heat seep out of the building too easily.
More modern window frames are made from reinforced, high-engineered vinyl. The material is easy to work with – have it cut and shaped to practically any shape and size. And you can choose from a range of colors that coordinate with the look of the rest of your home. Including wood-grain patterns, for an old-world charm.
Designs of High Efficiency Windows in Sunrooms
Because each home is unique, consider the specific needs for your sunroom. How do you need the space to be accessed? Will you have plants that need a controlled environment or will you have furniture you want to prevent from fading in the sun?
Today’s custom window designs can be adapted to practically any space and size – including your sunroom. Whether you’re installing a new space or converting/upgrading a current room, you might consider if you’d prefer windows with awnings, hinged windows, or sliding glass.
When most people picture a sunroom, they think of large picture windows, but there are many designs of high efficiency windows available to make your sunroom perfect.
Make your sunroom quickly and easily convert to a shaded haven with the pull of a cord or the click of a button. Minimize cleaning and keep the room beautiful at any time of day or night. With mini-blinds and retractable shades build in-between the layers of glass, the blinds stay clean and out of the way. Add an extra touch of elegance and ease.
Last to Consider: Impact Protection
Because there is so much glass in a sunroom, it is only a matter of time before one of the panes of glass suffers an impact. Whether a flying or falling object outside, or something inside the house, crashes into the glass, it is bound to happen. When you’re choosing high efficiency windows, make sure you also ask your representative what kind of impact protection and shatter resistance you can expect.