Those days are gone when homeowners’ interest in windows was limited to whether they can get proper coverings for the window glass. Nowadays, energy-conscious consumers need to reduce the cost of cooling and heating for their homes. Whether you’re building a house or planning to renew the windows, the key is to know what choices will provide you the biggest bang for the buck without surrendering a blow to the bottom line.
If the windows have seen better days, replacing those with energy-efficient, double pane windows will significantly reduce the cooling and heating bills while adding value to your home.
However, choosing the right windows for the home might be overwhelming given all the features, styles, and materials that are open to choose from.
If you’ve been considering the replacement windows, do the calculations to determine how cost-effective new units could be. One way is through completing the home energy audit. Whether you try the DIY way or hire a professional, the energy efficiency checkup for the home will provide you the sense of where the main energy-loss areas are and how serious those are.
It’s necessary to get a safe read on where the thermal transmission issues are in the home before starting with a complete replacement-window remodeling. You don’t need to layout multiple figures for the complete house window makeover when you can solve the real problems by installing a few storm windows, a tube of caulk, or some weatherstripping. Keep in mind that replacement windows are not the best choice for each place.
Choosing Window Glass
You should select the type of glass for the windows. Recent improvements in technology have hugely expanded the options present in window glass. Besides deciding within the double, triple, or quadruple-pane glass, you additionally get to decide on the length between the panes.
The quantity of glass panes doesn’t extend the window’s insulation factor; instead, it’s the air between the panes of glass that gives the additional insulation. Most manufacturers use an inert gas (typically argon) between the panes that can insulate better than air.
- Low Emissivity (Low-E) Glass: Low-E glass means glass with a unique, virtually invisible, microscopically thin layer of material on the surface of the glass, which acts to decrease the amount of heat that flows through the glass.
- Impact Resistant Glass: While if you hit the glass with the baseball bat, it can crack, but it would not spread and shatter glass shards all around the area. The beauty of impact-resistant glass is that under extreme weather conditions, it can hold up wonderfully.
When picking windows, the true rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for. While cost is certainly high, it’s more important to select a quality product formed by a well-known company. It is imperative to choose a well-made window that can provide energy savings, low maintenance, and ease of use to hold up with time.
Carefully check the different window manufacturers’ warranties, particularly concerning the glass itself, as fogging within the panes is a general complaint on insulated glass windows. It is where a well-known company with a high reputation can serve you properly. Companies that have been in the market for a while are likely to be there in the future if the window has issues.
Choosing a Window Contractor
There are many ways to find the right window installation contractor, but the best bet is to select the window you want and, after that, look for the contractor that the manufacturer primarily trains. As usual, the great idea is to call the local Home Builders Association to get window installation contractors in the area.
Even the most costly window unit can not perform efficiently if not installed perfectly. Be careful of any contractor who’s relying too heavily on expanding sealants or foams to get a window to fit correctly — those materials are not waterproof. They will lead to problems in the future. Pre-installation waterproofing, usually completed way before the installation of windows, is the perfect option. Other designs involve windows with transoms, providing a channel for fresh air, and these look appealing due to the deeper casings they need. Avoid any configurations such as radius-style windows shaped like circles, half-moons, or sunbursts that can not open. All in all, have fun picking out the windows for your home as they add to the decor.