Columbus window expert explains energy-efficient windows

Michael Rosati first learned about taking ownership in his work at the age of 7, cleaving meat as a butcher in a Columbus grocery store owned by his grandfather. By his early 20s, he had started his own home-building firm.

He later garnered sales and management experience with two window companies. Rosati's ultimate goal was to fold all the elements of an enterprise under his control.

In 2000, he founded Rosati Windows, boasting its own manufacturing plant and line of window products. "Now I can say, 'I built it, my name is on it, and I stand behind it,'" Rosati says.

How can I make my windows more energy efficient?

"Probably the two best things are caulking and putting new weather stripping on the windows. Caulk the perimeter of the window on the outside to your existing trim, and then, on the inside, caulk to either the drywall or trim, depending on how it's installed. If your locks aren't locking tightly, you can have them repaired so they pull the two sashes tight.

"The advantages of installing energy-efficient windows are huge. The first two are lower heating and air-conditioning bills. In addition, you cut out the drafts and cold spots in your home.

"The area of biggest efficiency is glass. There are low-emissivity - Low-E - coatings that reflect radiant heat back into the home in the winter and reflect radiant heat away from the house in the summer.

"There's also insulated glass with either argon or krypton gas in between. Argon gas is the most popular. The density of the gas gives you insulation and impedes the transfer of the heat. And krypton gas is even denser but more expensive.

"As far as frame types, use vinyl or fiberglass or wood. You want to stay away from materials that conduct heat or cold, like steel and aluminum.

"Vinyl frames today are called multi-chambered or honeycomb frames, which give you much more energy efficiency. Multiple chambers give the frame superior strength. In addition, the chambers create dead-air spaces, which create additional insulation for the frame."

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