Choosing the Right Replacement Windows
Replacement windows are installed once every generation, at a sizable cost, so the selection process for the windows is crucial for value for money.
You can be forgiven for thinking there isn’t much difference between types and styles of windows. They all look alike, serve the same purpose, and in general come in different colours. But the differences between windows will dictate the quality and performance when it comes time to make the purchase.
Many homeowners are using window upgrades as a money saver. In the long run, the energy savings you experience will outweigh the cost of the windows. That is if you buy the right window product for your home. An experienced contractor will be able to help through a consultation – but do your homework. Know what you are buying, what purpose it serves and how it will fill the need that is established.
Replacement windows will impact your bottom line with reduced costs through energy savings. One thing though, your windows are an exterior product, and the curb appeal of the windows will be as important as the function they serve. Try to marry your home’s architectural style to the windows available. As an example, a colonial-style home would be best served with double-hung windows. Decorative glass can be added for a stylish look, and specialty windows add pizzazz to your home.
The frame material that you choose will be critical to the success of your project. The most popular material on the market for replacement windows is vinyl. They are inexpensive, durable and virtually maintenance-free. Wood windows, on the other hand, will require maintenance. Staining or painting is the challenge here – but, they provide good energy-efficiency.
While the frame of the window is important, the glass installed in them is where the windows earn their keep. When you want to increase your energy efficiency, double or triple-pane glass will provide a level of security that you don’t have now. Most, if not all windows come with double panes as a standard feature – two pieces of glass sandwich airspace. That creates a buffer of protection from the outdoors and reducing heat leaks in the process.
To increase your thermal efficiency, consider Argon gas. It is inserted between the panes of glass you install. Argon gas is denser than air and prevents cold or warm air penetration from the outside while maintaining a constant, comfortable temperature inside.
To get the maximum in energy efficiency, you can lean towards Krypton gas as the insert between the glass panes. It is denser than both Argon and air and that is where the superior energy efficiency comes from.
If your home faces East, UV rays will part of the discussion for your replacement windows. You will need to purchase a glass package that has Low-E glazing to combat the invasive UV rays. UV rays will fade furniture, cracking paint, and dull the finish of hardwood floors. Not to mention the increase in heat transfer from outside. The rays will shine through the windows unimpeded if you don’t have your windows glazed.
Windows are a specialty product, and an off the shelf solution may not always be the best one for your needs. To get the best selection, and bang for your buck, consult a window contractor. The best part of buying replacement windows is you can mix and match the products with the service you need from your windows.