New windows, glass tint bring Atlanta energy savings
"I recently moved to a home where the front windows face southwest. There are no shade trees in the front yard, so I'm expecting the front rooms to get hot this summer. I plan on replacing the glass but I'm getting conflicting advice. Should I get low-E glass and rely on it to block infrared heat waves, or get clear glass and have an infrared-reflective film applied? Which will give me the best results?" — Angie's List member Roger Linville
"You'll get the most effective energy-efficiency upgrade by replacing the entire window," he says. "Solar film will reduce the heat gain, but you won't get all the benefits of a new energy-efficient window." He says most new energy-efficient windows start at around $300 to $400.
New windows may also qualify for a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent of a certified product's cost up to $1,500, not including labor or installation. Visit energystar.gov for more information.
Solar film may be a less costly option overall, says David Parke, a sales manager at highly rated Custom Sun Control in Marietta. He says most solar reflective films start at about $6 to $14 per square foot.
"For the money, you won't find a window that will give you the same performance as solar film," he says. However, installing the reflective film won't address an inefficient window frame.
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