Replacing your windows can make a huge difference to the energy savings and the temperature of the rooms in your house. Shopping for replacement windows can be overwhelming, there are many styles, materials and window technoligies to choose from, and if you don’t know where to start, this page is for you. Let’s look over a few key things to look for when making your window-shopping decisions.
What things to look for when finding a replacement window?
What is the window made from. The most common replacement windows are made of vinyl and wood, but you can also find aluminum and fiberglass.
Each type of material comes with their own pros and cons. From durability and affordability, to energy efficiency and maintenance. You need to choose material that is most appropriate for your location and your climate. Every type of window material will expand and contract with temperature changes.
Style: What is the style of the window that you are replacing. You wouldn’t want your windows not to match your other windows, so if you are replacing double hung window, you want to replace it with another double hung window. And in similar fashion, if you are replacing a vinyl window, you’ll probably want to go with another vinyl window and so forth.
Glass: For most of us plain transparent see-through double pane glass will do just fine. But if you are installing windows in bathrooms or around your front door you might want to consider privacy glass. Make sure you know where your windows are going to be installed to make the right decision on the type of glass you should go with.
Hardware: How easy is it to lock and unlock the windows? It’s an important factor, both from a security point and a safety point. You want to make sure the lock is easy to use, especially for children or elderly that have mobility issues. Also consider the material of the lock. Is the window lock made out of plastic or metal? Harvey Window locks for example are always made out of metal.
Brand Reputation: There are a lot of brands and window companies out there, they come and go. Make sure you go with a brand that’s been around for a while and we’ll be around for a long time to come. Your new window warranty means nothing if there is no company to honor that warranty.
We work with, install and trust the following window manufactures:
What is the difference between "Replacement Windows" and "New Construction Windows"?
Replacement windows are designed to fit inside the existing window frame once the original window sashes are removed; there is no need to remove the interior casing and exterior casing. This makes for a very neat and faster installation.
A replacement window option will allow you to get latest window performance features while preserving the original frame, exterior trim and interior casing.
New Construction Window:
New construction windows require the entire window frame to be removed along with all interior casing and all exterior casing as well. Therefore the opening can be enlarged/diminished to create more replacement options. All the interior and exterior casing (trim) will be replaced.
If you would like to change the size or shape of your window, the new construction will be the appropriate option.
You might have heard terms such as Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and U-Value.
To learn about these, let's take a look at the standard NFRC label found on all windows.
NFRC label will tell you how energy efficient a window is among other important numbers.
1. U-Factor measures how well a window can keep heat from escaping from inside of a room. Lower number means the window is better at keeping heat in.
Look for: Low numbers
2. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how well a window can resist unwanted heat gain, especially important during summer season. The lower the number, the less you’ll spend on your home cooling bills.
Look for: Low numbers
3. Visible Transmittance measures how well a window is designed to effectively light your home with daylight, which will potentially save you money on artificial lighting. Higher numbers mean more natural light is let in through the glass.
Look for: High numbers
4. Air Leakage measures how much air will enter a room through the window. You'll experience less drafts with low numbers.
Range: ≤ 0.3
Look for: Low numbers
Low-E: Does the Window have glass with Low-E coating?
Low-E coatings have been developed to minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted. Low-e coatings applied to the interior glass of the windows prevents heat loss. In fact, Low-E glass can reduce heat loss by as much as 40-50%. All Low-E coatings bounce radiant heat back to you in the winter and reflect the sun's radiant heat in summer, too.
Argon and Krypton Gas Fill: Some windows are constructed by taking two (or three) panes of glass and inserting gas between the empty spaces. These natural, odorless, non-toxic and stable gasses are denser than air, they help to keep your window glass closer to room temperature, cutting down on energy costs.
Argon gas is the cheaper alternative, its thermal conductivity is 2/3 that of air, making it an great option. Krypton is a more expensive option, but has better insulating properties due to Krypton gas particles being smaller than Argon gas particles. As a result, Krypton gas particles fit better into smaller spaces.
We hope this guide helps you make your window buying decisions easier.
But if you still aren't sure which window is best for your project, feel free to request a your free, no-obligation, window estimate by clicking here, together we'll go over all your window options, help narrow down your choices and choose the best solution for you.
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