Home Improvement

The Buyer’s Guide to Replacement Windows

There are many benefits to replacing the windows in your home. New windows not only enhance the overall look and feel of your home but they also more effectively protect your home from the outside elements. Old windows are prone to leaks and drafts, causing increased energy usage which means higher electricity bills.

While it’s not cheap to replace all of the windows in your home, the cost is well worth it. Be sure to use Energy-Star qualified windows to greatly lower your energy bill. In time the new windows will all but pay for themselves!

If you’re in the market for replacement windows, be sure to use this guide to make the process a little easier.

Reasons to Replace Windows

Replacement windows cost alone can keep homeowners from wanting to take on such an expensive project. But, replacement windows are one of those projects that you won’t regret. There are all sorts of reasons why windows need to be replaced. The most common reasons include:

  • Aesthetics
  • Improved energy efficiently
  • Easier cleaning and maintenance
  • Comfort
  • Increased safety and durability
  • Noise reduction

Home owners who are looking to sell their home in the distant future may also decide to replace all of the windows to increase the home’s value. Window replacement is a great way to make a home more like able by prospective buyers.

Choosing the Right Window Type

These days you’ll find that there are windows made of a wide range of materials. Here are the many window types you can choose from when replacing the windows in your home.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are the most commonly used window’s in the modern world. Vinyl offers low thermal conduction properties that make it the ideal material to use for windows. When choosing vinyl windows, you want to look for ones that use thick vinyl along with several internal chambers. These internal champers trap air, which increases the energy performance and sound deadening the window offers. Windows with more internal chambers also tend to be more durable.

If you’re in the market for replacement windows, vinyl is a quality option because they’re energy efficient, low maintenance, and are designed with strength and durability.

Wood Windows

Wood windows have been used for centuries and are great for thermal performance. Wood is well-known for its insulating qualities. Wood windows add a warm and natural look to a home, making them a pretty popular choice in the window world. When using wood windows, ensure you choose windows made by a reputable manufacturer that uses wood that’s treated with preservatives. Lumber needs to be properly treated to ensure durability and longevity.

Wood Clad Windows

Another window option is wood clad windows. These windows are similar to wood windows but have a vinyl or aluminum protective cover that reduces maintenance and increases durability. The cladding protects the wood exterior from outside elements but leaves the interior wood exposed.

The three types of wood clad windows that are most commonly used include:

  • Vinyl clad windows
  • Roll formed aluminum clad windows
  • Extruded aluminum clad windows

Be sure to consider your durability needs before selecting the best wood clad windows for your home.

Other Window Options

Aside from vinyl, wood, and wood clad windows, there are also other window materials to consider. Other window material options include aluminum, composite, fiberglass, and PVC. However, it’s best to use vinyl or wood windows if you’re looking for a replacement option that will last for years to come.

Important Considerations

The window material you choose is important, but there are also other factors to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to purchase energy efficient windows. Find windows that are Energy-Star certified so that you have peace of mind that the window is designed to be energy efficient.

When looking for an energy efficient window you’ll want to consider the solar heat gain coefficient, u-factor, and the visible transmittance. Condensation resistance and air leakage are also important factors to know when choosing replacement windows.

Glass type is another factor to consider. These days there are many different glass options available when purchasing replacement windows. Low emissivity (low-E) windows include a microscopic metallic coating that’s applied to the insulated glass. This coating improves thermal performance by reflecting long wave radiation. This type of glass is great for keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Tempered glass is heated to a high temperature, making it harder than regular class. Tempered glass is safe in that when it’s broken it shatters into small pieces, minimizing the risk of serious injury.

Laminate glass is another type of glass to consider. Laminate glass uses two piece of glass that are fused with an interlayer. Laminate glass is great for:

  • Improved security and safety
  • Light and solar control
  • Sound control
  • Storm glass
  • Improved aesthetics

By taking the time to choose the right type of glass, you can have the peace of mind that you’ve selected the best windows for your home.

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