When buying replacement windows you’ll need to consider several style, material and functionality options, and to have a budget for the project. Regardless of the style and frame material you choose, you must buy a quality replacement window and select an installation partner that is certified and trained by the manufacturer to handle your choice. Window replacement experts suggest looking for products that have been verified by a relevant, nonprofit energy rating board, like the NFRC (National Fenestration Ratings Council). The council establishes objective window, door, and skylight energy performance ratings to help consumers compare products and make informed purchase decisions. They have a label used on products which clearly communicates that product’s energy efficiency rating.
Also, consider the quality of the window material and the reputation of the window company. Do your research online and compare different manufacturers’ product lines and service offerings, and look for customer reviews of their performance. Here are a few other important considerations to make when buying replacement windows.
Choose the right type of replacement window glass that suits your climate. To get a good glass, you must be familiar with the vocabulary used by contractors and retailers. Examples of common window replacement glasses include double-glazed windows, gas-filled windows,warm-edge spacers, triple-paned windows and low-emissivity glass. Others are low-E 2 and low-E 3 glass, and high-performance glazing. Double-glazed windows have two layered panes with a space between them that acts as an insulator. Gas-filled windows have inert gases that provide sound insulation as compared to a layer of air. It is advisable to choose a glass depending on your needs. The choices can be overwhelming, so this is where an expert like Modeen Company can be of service.
Energy efficiency is another important consideration when buying replacement windows. Check for an energy certification label from an energy conservation agency. The energy rating of replacement windows is done basing on the u-factor, R-value and solar heat coefficient (SHGC). U-factor is a measure of how the window prevents heat from escaping. U-factors range from 0.10 (the best) to 1.20 (the worst). R-value factor is a measure of how the material can resist heat transfer through conduction. Measurements typically range from 0.9 and up, with a measurement of 3 or above being ideal. Solar heat gain coefficient indicates the ability of the window to block heat from the sun. It is measured in terms of the percentage of sunlight that enters the house as solar heat. Windows should typically be lower than 0.30 for SHGC. There’s a lot of science to understanding the energy efficiency of windows!
There are a few other things to consider before buying a replacement window to ensure you get exactly what you want. There are different types of window installation including casement windows, awning windows, sliding windows and fixed windows. Often the style of your house will help dictate this choice. Casement windows usually swing with a crank when opened. Cleaning them is easy, and they provide excellent ventilation. However, they may not be appropriate for homes in high traffic areas. Unlike casement windows, awning windows are good at keeping out the rain, even when they’re open. New awning windows are relatively airtight and have either single or double-paned glass. Sliding windows slide back and forth just like a sliding glass patio door. Fixed windows are airtight replacement windows that don’t open.
Despite the initial investment involved, replacing windows will typically save money in the long run, thanks to the energy savings and by increasing your home’s value and curb appeal when it comes time to sell. To be sure your window investment pays off, estimate the potential monthly energy savings and determine if you will be in the home long enough to break even on the cost. Even if you plan to sell the home before your window investment is recouped, remember that the new windows are also adding to the asking price of the home and can be factored into the listing price. If you need help with product selection, determining budgets and understanding the best type of window for your project, Modeen is always happy to help. Call us for an estimate and use our expertise to make the choices less burdensome for you. We can get started right away and you’ll be looking out of new, energy efficient and beautifully designed windows in no time.