Homeowners do a lot of research prior to buying replacement windows. After all, it’s an investment that most homeowners only want to make once in their lifetime. If you’re doing research, check out our tips for what to look for when buying replacement windows.
How to Shop for Replacement Windows
There are a few things you should take into consideration when buying windows, including: type, material, panes, U-value and energy efficiency.
Choose your Style
Frame materials, glazing options and energy efficiency are all important elements, but first you’ll need to consider the window’s basic operating style. Double-hung is the most popular type of window you see in many homes, especially traditional homes. This window consists of two sashes to maneuver as opposed to one moveable sash like the single-hung window. This functionality allows for either the top or bottom half of the window to be open at one time . Double hung windows have a distinct advantage over other models when it comes time to clean them, because the top and bottom sashes are moveable, meaning that you don’t have to go outside to finish the job. Other options include single-hung, casement, awning, bay, bow, sliding, and tilt and turn.
Consider Window Frame Materials
Window frames come in a number of different materials including wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass and composite. Vinyl windows are the most popular and considered the most affordable and low-maintenance option in today’s market. Fiberglass windows are newer than vinyl and are gaining popularity.
Look at Window U-Value
If energy efficiency is important for your new windows, the glass (single- or double-pane or low-E) and the U-value are details you’ll want to take into consideration. Most homeowners prefer double-pane window treatments. Although they cost more up-front than single-pane windows because they use twice the materials, the insulation and strength they offer make them a much better buy. In fact, with double-pane windows, you won’t have to use your air conditioner as often, and your heater can be set at a lower temperature because the air inside your home will be more consistent.
Pro tip: Consider energy savings and a window’s life span when considering what to look for when buying replacement windows.
Low-E, or low-emissivity, glass was created to minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that comes through your glass without minimizing the amount of light that enters your home. The low-E coatings keep the temperature in your home consistent by reflecting the interior temperatures back inside.
When selecting windows with superior insulation in mind, remember that a window’s U-value is an important consideration. A window with a high U-value provides less resistance to heat flow and does not insulate as well as a product with a low U-value.
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