Window, door and skylight manufacturers will have new Energy Star ratings for the start of 2015. The EPA is responsible for setting the Energy Star ratings and the EPA concluded that it must toughen up the Energy Star ratings so that it meets or surpasses the ever changing residential building code requirements. SO what does this mean to the average homeowner?
1. Prices will go up. All of the window manufacturers will have to spend thousands to millions of dollars on re-designing their windows to meet the new Energy Star ratings. And ultimately these costs will be absorbed by the end user, which is the homeowner.
2. Not as many options. The new Energy Star ratings could put an end to double pane windows. Most window manufacturers will have to discontinue their double pane window for the more energy efficient triple pane window. Most double pane windows will not meet or exceed the new 2015 Energy Star ratings. So as a homeowner, you’ve just eliminated about 80% of the glass options for new windows.
3. Longer wait times. Most vinyl windows can be ordered, delivered and installed in 2-4 weeks. Some even sooner if you go directly to Menards or Home Depot. But if a window needs more glass to meet the new Energy Star ratings, these windows could take longer to produce.
4. More condensation. With older windows, the energy in a home is lost through the drafty/leaky window frame and glass. As soon as new energy efficient windows are installed, that energy is now being trapped inside the home and will form on the glass as condensation. So the equation goes, the older the home + tougher Energy Star ratings = more condensation. Not to worry if you install a vinyl or fiberglass window, but a wood window could have issues after year 5.
5. Less Competetion. The market for window manufacturers could dwindle. Smaller window manufacturers will have to endure more costs to stay in business. They may decide to close up for good or be bought out by a larger window maker. This results in fewer options and higher costs for the homeowner.