There’s no doubt about it, swapping your old windows out with new replacement windows is a sure bet to instantly add beauty and value to your home. Along with your home’s roof and siding, the windows are one of the most important factors that can elevate your home’s aesthetic while keeping it protected from Mother Nature.
Old windows not only look bad, they also act like sieves, letting warm air out during the winter and cool air out during the summer. Replacement windows are your best defense when it comes to saving on your energy bills.
Beyond the look of the replacement window, one of the most important factors to consider is efficiency rating. As you begin to window shop (pun intended), ask window providers about their windows’ U-factors. A window’s U-factor can significantly help your home’s energy efficiency, depending on the climate you live in. U-factor is the rating given to a window contingent on how much heat loss it allows. In general, a window’s U-factor should be between 0.2 (allows extremely little heat loss) and 1.2 (high heat loss). If you live in a colder climate you should be sure to buy replacement windows with the lowest U-factor possible.
In addition to a window’s U-factor, ask your window provider about Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC. SHGC ratings should range between zero and one, signifying the amount of heat the window allows to pass into your home from sunlight. Ratings closer to zero allow little heat in, while numbers closer to one allow more solar heat in.
Enough about the technical stuff – what about the look? Getting rid of your aged windows bearing cracks, chips or murky glass is the best first step to giving your home the cosmetic overhaul it deserves while boosting its value. New windows are also easy to clean and low maintenance. Believe it or not, attractive, energy-efficient replacement windows are surprisingly affordable and tend to pay for themselves over time due to the money they’ll save on bills.
Casement and double-hung windows are always popular choices. Casement windows provide unobstructed views and are hinged from the side, allowing you to fully open the window for wonderful breezes, easy cleaning and a beautiful look. Double-hung windows are popular because they don’t consume exterior space, making them a good choice for walkways, porches and patios. Also, the window sashes open vertically and they have a stacked appearance, meaning both sashes can slide past each other.
Also, slider windows and bay or bow windows are consistent favorites. Slider windows are economical and provide large openings for maximum viewing with a modern exterior look. Bay windows typically have a large, fixed center glass panel and bow windows are made up of six equal sized window units joined at equal angles to form a curve. Each of these choices will provide energy efficiency, beauty and enhance your home’s comfort.
Not sure what’s best for your home? Go to a local window provider near you and start asking the informed window shopper’s questions. The perfect windows for your home are nearer than you think.