When it comes to researching new windows for your home, there are a lot of factors to consider. If you notice that windows in your home are leaking, tough or impossible to operate, or are made of single pane glass you should consider replacing them. Researching new replacement windows can be a daunting task because of the array of options that exist today. We are going to talk about the most important factors when choosing the right replacement windows for your home to help make your decisions easier.
In today’s modern world, windows come in many shapes and sizes. Here are some of the styles you can choose from. Here are main different styles that are available today. Single & double-hung windows are very traditional and allow the window to slide open vertically. Double-hung provides extra advantage by allowing the top or bottom window to open. Sliding windows feature sashes that move horizontally. Casement windows are hinged at the sides and open outward. Roll-out windows are hinged from one side and only are you often find this style in a bathroom.
Replacement windows come in vinyl, wood, aluminum, wood-clad, composite or fiberglass. Each window frame looks and performs differently, and cost differences among materials vary widely.
Wood replacement windows will require more up keep than vinyl windows, wood-clad or aluminum frames. Since wood has the potential for rot and decay, you should maybe steer clear of this type if you live in rainy or very humid climates.
Vinyl replacement windows are less expensive, but don’t consider them cheap because of this. A properly installed and well-constructed vinyl window can be a practical choice for many homeowners while still offering energy efficiency with minimal air leakage.
Wood-clad replacement windows have aluminum or vinyl exteriors and a wood interior. There have been known to be prone to rotting in the sills and jambs because of water that will pool in those areas.
Composite replacement windows are composed of plastic resins and wood shavings that mimic the look of real wood, but are virtually maintenance free. They are also a great choice for eco-friendly homeowners because the manufacturing processes of these windows are made from recycled plastics.
Fiberglass windows are similar to their composite counterparts in the fact that they are made of a mixture of glass fibers and polyester resins. Fiberglass windows are extremely energy efficient and are rated the strongest and most durable window product on the market. The nice thing about fiberglass is that you are able to repaint it different colors & it won’t twist or warp like wood frames can.
Window Insulating Factors
Understanding U-factors & R-values
The U-factor of a window is how much heat it allows through, which measures the thermal conductivity. Lower U-factors equals a better insulation window. You have probably heard of the term R-value before and that refers to the resistance of the window to heat conduction therefore making it the inverse of U-factor. The best windows will have high R-values and low U-factors.
Double Pane & Triple Pane
If your home currently has single pane windows you will love the addition of adding a second or third pane of glass. Multiple panes of glass trap a layer of air or gas between the panes increasing the insulating factors allowing less heat to pass through the window. If the space between the panes is filled with argon or krypton gas you will have more insulating power than just air.
How does the thought of letting in heat from the sun in the winter, but keeping your home’s warmth inside? This is essentially what a low-emmittance, or low-e coating, will do for your home. Low-e coating is a clear, microscopic metal oxide layer that is installed on the surface of one of the panes of glass.