Choosing Replacement Windows for Savings

by Gina Blitstein · 2 comments

Our homes’ windows can be beautiful protective walls of glass – or unattractive energy drains. If they’re the latter, they should probably be replaced. How do you choose appropriate, affordable replacement windows for your home?

Window replacement is a costly undertaking and, for most homeowners, it’s not a do-it-yourself project. There are several things you should know about replacement windows so you can go into it equipped with the facts:

Why replace your home’s windows?

Consider replacing your windows if they:

Provide poor insulation – As important as windows are for allowing in pleasant breezes, they are likewise critical to keeping out inclement weather. Consider replacement when your windows are drafty or inefficient at keeping out excess heat.

Are cracked or broken – In addition to being unattractive, broken windows are simply good for nothing. They compromise energy efficiency as well as your home’s security.

Don’t operate well – Windows should, ideally, operate easily, opening and closing without difficulty. As their components wear, older windows can become difficult to operate, causing frustration and the potential for not being properly and securely closed.

Are unattractive – Old windows can detract from the appearance of your home. Updating them can give it a fresh appearance. Replaced windows can add curb appeal to your home when you put it on the market, too.

Present security issues – Even if your windows aren’t broken, per se, if they don’t close and lock properly, your home’s security is at risk.

Factors to consider when replacing windows

You’ll undoubtedly be bombarded with choices when you look at replacement windows. Here’s some information to help you make the right choices for your home:

Frame Material – Consider the material from which the window frame and sash are constructed:

  • Aluminum – Frames made of aluminium conduct outdoor heat and cold inward, which is not energy efficient. Few home windows are made of aluminum any more.
  • Wood – Frames made of wood are good at keeping temperature extremes out of your home. While they add an indoor aesthetic quality, they require considerable outdoor maintenance to prevent damage from the elements.
  • Vinyl – window frames made of vinyl resist heat transfer, which means they prevent unwanted outdoor heat from entering in hot weather and indoor heat from escaping in cold weather. Color choice for vinyl windows, however, is limited and painting is not recommended.
  • Fiberglass – a newcomer to the market, fiberglass frames are the best insulators available, although they carry a high price tag.

Glass Options – Windows can be constructed with single, double or triple glazed glass. The name indicates the number of panes from which the window is constructed. Air (or a gas such as argon or krypton) trapped between multiple panes creates an insulating buffer.

Another factor to consider when choosing windows is Low-E (low-emittance). These window panes are coated with a microscopically thin layer of metal which reduces the amount of heat from the sun that enters without reducing the visible light that passes through the glass.

Who should you hire to replace your windows?

While there’s no definitive answer, gather suggestions by consulting with:

  • neighbors
  • your city or town’s building department
  • other trusted construction professionals
  • the Better Business Bureau

There’s a lot to consider when undertaking an important and costly renovation like replacing your windows. They provide an important aesthetic element but more so, they’re an energy, security and comfort consideration. Choosing them carefully will make your home a more pleasant, beautiful and valuable place while providing you with significant energy savings which quickly offsets the initial financial outlay.

How much could you save by replacing your home’s windows?

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcus @ August 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

Great article. A few things to add is that the glass option has an available sun-clean feature. I heartily recommend this, especially for those hard to reach windows.
Also, another great place for suggestions on who to replace the windows is Facebook. Most company’s have a Facebook page and you can gain valuable information from these as well.

Sandra Jones September 1, 2012 at 2:34 am

I like the way you asked, “Why replace your home windows?” This is what I always thought until I own a home of my own. Today, I feel every house owner should invest some amount of money in home improvement. Window replacement is a part of that. Correct me if I am wrong. I am happy with a replacement window project, but, the job should be done by a reputed company which provides similar services.

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