After seven years, homeowner John Kosmer says his 4,000-square-foot custom passive solar home in upstate New York has averaged only $2.50 per day in heating costs. Kosmer supervised the construction of the project in 2007 with John Carrigan, owner at Building With Integrity, and Bruce Brownell of Adirondack Alternative Energy.

In addition to the construction process of the southern-facing home, the team credits the home’s long-term savings to the use of energy-efficient products. "We have 53 Simonton windows in this home that were constructed with an Argon gas filling, double glazing, and low-E softcoat," Kosmer says. “We've found the vinyl frames on these windows offer superior energy efficiency capabilities. Our casement windows close up very tightly to minimize sound penetration and help eliminate air infiltration from the regular 30 mph winds we experience here. As a bonus, the vinyl has been maintenance-free during the past seven years, which is a big plus as we get older."

Simonton—ranked No. 1 for quality in BUILDER's 2013 Brand Use Study—delivers Energy Star-qualified vinyl windows and doors.