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Windows: Use & Care

Energy-Efficient Windows: The Basics

Our Buyer’s Guide helps you understand how energy efficient windows work including the terms and definitions you need to know. When replacing older windows, we strongly recommended that you upgrade to double-paned glass. Other features to consider: gas filling, low-e coating and window systems with combined low U-factors (0.35 or less for California’s climate) and low solar heat gain coefficients (0.3 or less for California).

Use & Care

Clean = Energy Efficient

Windows with no major damage—such as rotting wood frames or broken glass— generally need little upkeep to maintain their efficiency. Regular cleaning is, however, important. Don’t forget to clean all seals and gaskets and replace them if they have dried out.

Tilt Windows = Easy Cleaning

Windows with surfaces that tilt open make cleaning the outside pane easy. We highly recommend this option if you are installing new windows or sash replacements.

Buyer’s Guide

Before you shop for efficiency upgrades, visit the Window Buyer’s Guide for easy facts and figures that can help you choose the best materials for your home, needs and budget.


If you’re thinking about making efficiency improvements, the Windows Overview is a great place to get acquainted with the basics and your options, before you buy or install. Return to Building and Materials.

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

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