There is plenty to consider when looking for replacement windows. Upgrading your windows is an investment, but if done right is one that will undoubtedly pay off. New windows enhance your curb appeal, while making your home interior quieter, less drafty, and more comfortable overall. They’re easier to clean and maintain than old windows, and increase your home’s energy efficiency, while lowering your energy bills. Ready to start the search for replacement windows? Here are the top 5 things to consider!
1. More Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Better
Just because a window is more expensive, doesn’t mean it will necessarily perform better than others. Upgrading your windows is a big cost, so you don’t want to spend more than you have to. For instance, vinyl windows are a less expensive, more affordable window replacement option, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be “cheap”. A well-constructed, insulated vinyl window will conserve energy, and heighten the beauty and comfort of your home, while helping you stay on budget.
2. Climate Counts
Consider the climate you live in when looking for replacement windows. If you live in a rainy, humid climate, aluminium windows are extremely practical. Due to their strength and durability, they meet strict coastal building codes in hurricane-prone areas. If you live in a climate with high winds and cold temperatures, look for windows that are known to perform well at low temperature wind resistance.
3. Focus on Value
When you’re shopping around for replacement windows, you may notice that upgrades are quite common. The thing is, upgrades can end up costing up to 50% of the base cost of the window, skyrocketing your budget. Focus on features that add value and make sense for your climate. Unless you live in an extremely cold climate, triple glazing your windows probably isn’t necessary. Focus on features such as Low-E coatings to improve energy efficiency, double hung window sashes that tilt to make your windows easier to clean, and finer mesh screens that let more light through than standard screens.
4. Understand Window Glass Numbers
When looking for replacement windows, it’s important to understand the numbers. All windows in the Energy Star program have ratings assigned to them by the National Fenestration Rating Council. You’ll see numbers for certain window labels:
- U-factor or U-value (ranges from 0.20 to 1.20): The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping in heat.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (ranges from 0 to 1): The lower the number, the better the window is at blocking unwanted heat from the sun through the glass. In warm climates, you’ll want a lower number, while in cold climates, look for a higher number.
- Visible Transmittance (ranges from 0 to 1): Specifies how much visible light a window lets in. As the number increases, the light increases.
5. Installation is Key
Once you’ve decided on your replacement windows, make sure that they’re installed properly. Even top-rated windows won’t perform properly if they’re not installed correctly. Stay away from any contractors that relies on expanding foams or sealants to get a window to fit properly. If flashing and caulking aren’t done with an eye to detail, you’ll likely be looking at water damage down the road. Choose from our list of Premium Renovators to ensure a job well done!
Choosing replacement windows requires many decisions. Use this guide to help you choose the right ones for your home!