Replacement windows 101: a comprehensive guide
Researching and purchasing new windows for your home is a serious business. Due to the costs, you want a durable product. Read our replacement windows 101 guide.
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If you are planning to install new windows in your home, you are taking an important step in increasing your home's value and improving its energy efficiency. As part of replacement windows 101, review all of your options carefully before you purchase.
Choosing windows is one of the biggest decisions you will make as a homeowner. The windows you choose will affect both your energy costs and the comfort of your home. Here are some factors to take into consideration.
No. 1: design and style
The first lesson: Focus on window terms in design and manufacture. Windows come in a number of different designs, some more suited to one style of house than another. The different styles available include:
- Single hung.
- Double hung.
No. 2: glass
You will also need to choose the type of glass for your windows. Manufactures offer different types of window glass that improve energy efficiency and prevent wind and moisture from entering your home.
When considering window glass, you will be able to choose from panes made of heat-absorbing glass, insulated glass and glass made with low-emissivity coatings.
You'll also have a choice of single, double or triple-pane glass. Single-pane glass might be more desirable if you live in climates that are hot and humid year round. Double or triple pane glass are good not only for keeping cold air out during the winter, but also act as sound barriers.
No. 3: frame construction
Discuss with a contractor the types of materials used to make replacement windows. Most manufacturers produce vinyl windows, but some companies also make windows out of wood, aluminum, composite and fiberglass. If you are not sure which material is best for your home, ask your contractor before ordering windows for your project.
No. 4: where you live
Your climate is a big consideration when choosing new windows for your home. Different climates dictate different window solutions.
In a cold climate, gas-filled windows made with coated glass will reduce heat loss.
If you live in a warm climate, choose windows that have glass coatings designed to reduce heat absorption.
If you live in a mixed climate, you can use insulating window shades during the winter and apply reflective films to your windows during the summer months. When you replace your windows with glass that has these properties, you have the opportunity to reduce your energy consumption and save money.
No. 5: energy efficiency
One of the major benefits of buying energy-efficient replacement windows is reduced energy costs. Your home will also be more comfortable as the right windows will block out heat during warm months and cold air during cold months.
Energy-efficient windows also protect your carpets, drapes and upholstery from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light.
When you install energy-efficient windows, you are likely to experience less condensation on the glass and mold and mildew formation on the window frames.
No. 6: quotes and installation
Installing new windows has many benefits, but you must know how to select the right windows for your home. When you are ready to start your project, find contractors to give you a windows estimate and explain the process of replacing home windows.
Before hiring a contractor, use this replacement windows 101 guide to help you choose attractive, energy-efficient windows for your home.
Photo caption: Replacement windows 101 guide. Shown here are double-hung windows by Marvin.