5 Tips For Choosing Replacement Windows
Are your windows old? Has the caulking begun to peel or crack? Maybe you’ve noticed your heating and cooling bills rising? This could be because your windows are letting heat escape through them. You can fix these problems by replacing your windows.
Yes, patching up the leaky spots with caulking can help. But if your home has older windows, just caulking will not solve all issues, especially if your windows are the original ones that were installed when the house was built. Replacing your home’s windows may seem like a huge task but we have some tips to help you each step of the way:
Evaluate if it’s Time for Replacement Windows
Like everything else, windows will degrade over time. The average windows lifespan is about 20 years. While you may think that windows last forever, the truth is that, like anything else in your home, the time will come when they need to be replaced. But how do you, as a homeowner, determine when that time is?
- If your windows are leaky
- If there gaps between the window and sash or the sash and frame
- If they are they difficult to open or close
- If the structure of your windows is noticeably changing
If you checked yes to any of the the above, replacement windows may be in your near future.
Another indication of failing windows is energy usage climbing. If you noticed your energy bills going up, or windows feeling exceptionally drafty. You should look into replacing the windows of your house. If you feel drafts coming from your windows, or if there is condensation between the panes, you’re probably losing energy through your windows and thereby, losing money.
Choose the Best Type of Windows for Your Home
Once you’ve decided that you should replace the windows of your house you will need to look into the different styles of windows to find the best option for you. Windows are one part of your home that can be seen from both the inside and outside. Because of this, they should complement the exterior architecture of your home as well as your interior decor. Some choices for window varieties include double-hung, bay, bow, sliding and casement.
If the available choices do not fit your style and you are looking for a more unique look to your home, you can work with a professional window company to design a custom window design and size. Choosing replacement windows that fit your personal style and needs is also a great way to improve curb appeal and possibly add value to your home. If you are in the market to sell choosing the right style of window can help you increase your list price.
Determine Which Material is Best for Your Home
When picking out new windows you also have a selection of materials for your window frames. Wood, aluminum, and vinyl are all potential options and there are things to keep in mind about each type. Moisture can warp wood windows over time, which may cause splintering and sagging. The color of wood windows can also fade and requires more upkeep to paint or stain them. Aluminum windows won’t rot, but they can oxidize. Aluminum windows can also be very hot or cold to the touch based on the weather outside, meaning they are not a great barrier to the outside temperature. Vinyl replacement windows are highly weather-resistant and can be made with unplasticized PVC (uPVC) that is water-resistant, safe and strong. Vinyl windows have the least amount of upkeep, as they are fade resistant. Each material has its own beauty to it as well. Wood frames can provide a cozy, rustic feel while a vinyl or aluminum frame can exude classy modern vibes. Choose a material that you feel most comfortable maintaining as well as one that fits in with the style of you
Look for High Energy Efficiency
When you are comparing new windows it can be overwhelming how many options are out there. You can remove several options by weeding out the windows with low-performance ratings. Performance rating labels can be found on all Energy Star certified windows, doors, and skylights and provides performance ratings in five categories.
Measures the rate of heat transfer and tells you how well the window insulates. U-factor values generally range from 0.25 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu/h·ft²·°F. The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
Measures the fraction of solar energy transmitted and tells you how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. SHGC is measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values typically range from 0.25 to 0.80. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window transmits.
- Air Leakage (AL)
Measures the rate at which air passes through joints in the window. AL is measured in cubic feet of air passing through one square foot of window area per minute. The lower the AL value, the less air leakage.
- Visible Transmittance (VT)
Measures the amount of light the window lets through. VT is measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values generally range from 0.20 to 0.80. The higher the VT, the more light you see.
- Condensation Resistance
Measures how well the window resists water build-up. Condensation Resistance is scored on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the condensation resistance factor, the less build-up the window allows.
Up to 70-percent of energy is lost through windows or doors, and 90-percent of that heat escapes through the glass. If you feel your monthly utility bills are too high and it’s time for replacement windows, choose a window with a lower U-value. The lower the number, the less heat you will lose during colder months.
If you want a window that will keep your home cooler during the warmer months, choose a window with a low solar heat gain (SHG) number. Considering both of these ratings when choosing a window can provide year-round energy efficiency.
Research Qualified Companies to Replace Your Windows
With your new knowledge on windows, you are set to pick out the best windows for your home and get them installed. If you are having trouble with where to find replacement windows, companies like Thompson Creek offer a variety of styles of windows to fit a variety of budgets. Keep in mind that even the highest rated and best quality windows won’t do you any good if they’re installed improperly.
You wouldn’t want to throw money away by having an untrustworthy or disreputable contractor install them. With years of superior service stick to the trusted professionals at Thompson Creek for properly installed windows at a reasonable price. If you are not in their service area, look for reputable companies around you. Research customer reviews and ratings and pricing. Do not be afraid to shop around to find the best company possible.