When the muti-family apartment building you own has cracks in the windows or has windows which don’t close properly, it can cost you money. Because apartments which are drafty and cold in the winter require more heating. Also bad windows can make apartments too hot in the summer because of poor insulation. Further, even if tenants pay their own utilities, the heat loss and heat gain will destroy your budgeted expense payments because of the extra heating and cooling required in the hallways and common areas. So rents go up and then you lose good tenants and can’t even attract new ones either because the apartments also look rundown.
So replacing your windows may be the best option. In order to determine which windows will work best for your building though you will need to understand the energy performance ratings on windows. This way you’ll be able to make an intelligent decision on windows based on the design of your building and the climate in your area. Further, after you make your decision, hire a reliable contractor to install them properly. So all this stated, here is some helpful information for you dealing with the above matter:
- South facing windows: South facing windows should have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of at least 0.6 to maximize solar heat in the winter when it is cold. Windows should also have a U-factor of 0.35 or less so it reduces conductive heat transferred out in the winter and in during the summer. A VT or high visible transmittance is needed for good visible light transference too.
- East, west, and north facing windows: It’s harder to control heat and light transfer through east and west facing windows because of the sun’s rising and setting. So these windows should be shaded or have a low SHGC. North facing windows gain little solar heat so their main use is for lighting
- Cooler climate strategies: Strategies which are effective here are using north facing windows and shaded south facing windows for reducing cooling loads. Windows with a low SHGS are especially effective here. You are trying to keep heat in in other words.
When your making your selection for windows based on energy efficiency, first consider the windows’ ratings in relation to what is your climate and the design of your building. Also you need to select windows that have both low U-factor ratings and SHGS to get the most energy savings in a climate with both hot and cold seasons.
However; the best advice is to talk to a specialist at a building supply company when you are buying your windows.