Friday, May 21, 2010

FTC Offers Ideas on Improving Insulation with High-Performance Windows

In a recent press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offered some ideas on how improved insulation can increase comfort and lower utility bills.

According to the FTC, one’s attic is often the best place to start improving insulation, particularly in older homes that were built without sufficient insulation in the first place.

One way to improve insulation in such homes is to install high-performance windows.

The FTC recommends looking for windows made of low emissivity – or “low-E” – glass. Low-E glass has a special thin coating that lets light in but reduces heat transfer.

In warmer climates, it is wise to consider windows with “spectrally selective coatings.” These coatings let light in but keep heat out. In colder climates, gas-filled windows are a smart choice for reducing heat loss.

The FTC also recommends that consumers look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. The FTC points out that the NFRC provides an independent industry rating system for the energy performance of windows, doors, and skylights.