The average homeowner is probably not an expert on windows, but you may have an idea of what you want. Maybe you’re looking to bring down your energy bills but don’t want to break the bank. Below we’ve provided you with an explanation of everything you need to look for in window replacement for your home.
How To Know When It’s Time For New Windows?
High Energy Bills
On a cold day, stand next to your windows. Does it feel cooler than the rest of your home? As the temperature drops during winter and rises during the summer, your heating and cooling bills are sure to do the same. If your windows are on the older side, it’s likely that much of the heat produced by your furnace and the cooling from your air conditioner is going to waste.
Walk around your home to open and close each window to check for smooth operation. If it requires a bit of force and pressure to open or if they’re painted or swollen shut, it’s time to replace them. Wood windows can be particularly bad for this. Opening your windows should not be a chore or a source of exercise, they should open and close effortlessly.
Decaying Frames and Leaky Windows
One of the clearest signs that you need to replace your windows are decaying window frames. As wooden window frames are exposed to moisture, they can begin to go on a downward spiral. Built up moisture damage can also cause more serious decay down the road, causing severe safety issues. If you notice that your window frames show signs of decay, this is a sign that your windows are in serious need of an upgrade.
Types of Window Glass
Low-emissivity (low-E) Glass Coatings
This window glass has a thin metallic coating that reflects heat from the sun. Low-E coatings reduce energy costs and block UV rays while still allowing 95% of natural light to enter your home. Low-E can reduce energy loss by as much as 30% to 50%.
A single-paned window is one sheet of glass that is framed in any of the materials above. This type is usually at a lower cost, but less energy efficient compared to double-paned windows.
Double-paned windows are two sheets of glass side-by-side with 1/4 to 1 inch of air (or gas) between them. Heat during the summer or cold during the winter, will get trapped between the panes making it harder for the transfer of energy back and forth.
Triple-paned windows are three sheets of glass with two spaces of air (or gas) between them for maximum energy efficiency.
The gaps between the double and triple-paned windows are most often filled with gas (argon or krypton) ; these gases improve thermal performance and make it harder for heat transfer.
Double-hung windows are a popular choice because they have a classic look and open from both the bottom and the top. They also tilt from the top and bottom making them easy to clean.
Single-hung is the traditional style of window that only opens from the bottom. They are a great choice if you’re looking for a simple classic look.
Casement windows provide a picture window look but with the ability to open with a crank allowing full height ventilation. Casement windows are popular for hard to reach areas, such as, above the sink or countertops. This style does protrude into other spaces so be aware of the placement when installing them.
Awning windows are popular in basements when there is limited vertical space to the outside, or many are placed above or below fixed picture windows to add ventilation. Awning windows are also nice in light rains, because the opening is at the bottom and the window will act as a shield from the rain.
Sliding and sometimes called gliding windows are another great option, these are also popular for basements because they bring in a lot of light and meet egress requirements. This style of window doesn’t protrude into other spaces so it’s great near outdoor walkways and decks.
Fixed Picture Windows
Fixed windows do not open, but they are great if you want to frame your outdoor scenery. These windows can get larger in scale because they do not open, and can be more efficient without the concerns of open and closing and leaving air gaps.
Custom Window Styles
Most windows and replacement windows have standard sizes, but if you have an oddly shaped window or space, always talk to a professional to see what your options are, because there are several window manufacturers that can customize a window that is exactly what you’re looking for.
Windows are an investment that will boost your home’s value and significantly improve your home’s curb appeal. They will also increase the amount of natural light in your home, soundproofing and increase energy efficiency. Windows are a functional upgrade and whether you are simply trying to improve your home’s appearance or save money on your energy bills, window renovations is a great project that is sure to pay dividends. To learn more visit our website.