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Energy-Efficient Windows for Residential Buildings

Mark P. Rossow, PhD, PE Retired

Course Outline

This six-hour online course provides information to help engineers, homeowners, builders, and designers select energy-efficient windows.  Section 2 provides an overview of measuring window performance.   Section 3 describes window technologies, including glazing types, low conductance spacers and gas fills, and frame types.  Section 4 leads the user through a step-by-step window selection process involving codes, the ENERGY STAR program, and the use of tools such as the Efficient Windows Collaborative’s Window Selection Tool.  In Section 5, the energy savings are shown for several window types in 16 cities representing the full range of U.S. climate zones.  Savings are shown in the context of new and replacement windows.  Section 5 also includes a discussion of window costs, life cycle cost issues, and other benefits.  Section 6 addresses the impact of design conditions such as orientation, window area, and shading on performance, and Section 7 summarizes key issues in window installation.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers, builders, homeowners, and designers concerned about saving energy in residential buildings.

Benefit to Attendees

A person completing this course will be able to select the type of energy-efficient windows most suitable for a given building site, type, and climate zone.

Course Introduction

Windows are an important component of the energy performance of any house. They are also one of the more costly and multifaceted building products with a wide range of technology options.

Course Content

This course is based on the DOE document, “Measure Guideline: Energy-Efficient Window Performance and Selection,” prepared by John Carmody and Kerry Haglund of the University of Minnesota under NREL Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 (Subcontract No. KNDJ-0-40338-02), November, 2012.

Measure Guideline: Energy-Efficient Window Performance and Selection

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Course Summary

Guidelines are presented for the selection of the energy-efficient windows most suitable for a given application.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.