With Energy Star almost a given, manufacturers put more focus on the look of their windows
The number of products carrying an Energy Star label and the number of companies that signed up for the government’s R-5 program provide ample evidence that energy efficiency is a high priority for window manufacturers and their customers. But more manufacturers are also saying good performance numbers are not enough in today’s market.
“When people buy windows today, they expect them to be energy efficient,” says Bonnie Gomez Customer Service Manager at Florida Window and Door. “The result is that style has become an increasingly important element in product consideration.”
“Energy efficient, high quality products and professional installation earn credibility with the customer which in turn gives us access to the homeowner. Energy efficiency is the price of entry with windows. But design and options differentiate,” states Allan Gallo, director of marketing for Florida Window and Door.
Consumers in the replacement, and remodeling, segments want products to maximize glazing areas, minimize sight lines, and be available with a full complement of hardware options and finish options. Demand for custom interior and exterior colors is required above and beyond consumer demand for a highly energy efficient and durable system.
The growing importance of window style is certainly not new. Wood window producers have been touting the look of their products and expanding consumer options for years—and they continue to do so. What may be most noteworthy today are shifts in the window business, where many manufacturers have added many more color and finish options in recent years.
“The knowledge level among consumers about energy efficient windows and doors skyrocketed in 2009 and 2010 thanks to the federal energy tax credit,” says Mark Savan, president of Simonton Windows. “Now—in addition to increasing comfort and lower energy bills—homeowners are seeing that vinyl windows can enhance the overall beauty of the home when stylized with various interior and exterior color options, grids and special features.”