Choosing the right windows is a big decision for any homeowner. Windows that are old or not properly installed can allow heat to escape. This can dramatically increase your heating bill during the coldest months of the year. The task of selecting the right windows can seem overwhelming. There are a massive amount of features, materials and styles to choose from. Here are a few tips to make it easier to select the right windows for your home:
New or Replacement?
Replacement windows are installed when the old window is removed without the surrounding trim or frame being disturbed. A new window is then installed where the old window used to be. The price of a replacement window is basically the same as a new window. However, not as much labor is needed to install a replacement window. This makes them cost less overall.
New windows are used when the homeowner wants to enlarge the window opening. This requires the installation of a completely different style of window. A contractor is needed to perform the installation. The high cost of labor associated with new windows prohibits many people from buying them.
Single or Double Hung Windows
These windows are the most common types of windows that you will find in many homes. Two separate sashes open and close by sliding them up or down. A double hung window is capable of being opened from both the top and bottom. A single hung window can only be opened from the bottom. Both styles look exactly the same.
These windows are horizontally hinged at the top. Tilting the window from the bottom can open them. It creates the look of an awning, as their name would indicate. You would generally find this style of windows in bathrooms and in coastal areas.
These windows are made of a vertically hinged pane of glass that can be swung open. You would open a casement window by using a lever.
Slider or Glider Windows
These windows do exactly what their name would suggest. Because they slide open from side to side, they are ideal when there is not enough room for a window that swings open.
After you have selected the style of window that you want, selecting the materials will be your next task.
Wood has a lovely appearance. It is also resistant to cold and heat. But, wood must be treated to protect it from moisture. The downside of wood is that it requires a great deal of maintenance.
Vinyl windows have become very popular over the years. This is because they are inexpensive, provide good insulation and require almost no maintenance.
Along with deciding how many panes you want, you can also choose the distance between each pane. Argon gas is filled between the panes to provide better insulation than using only air.
Low Emissivity (Low-e) Glass
The surface of this glass has a layer of material on it that is nearly invisible. It reduces the amount of heat that can penetrate the glass.
Impact Resistant Glass
This glass can be cracked. However, the glass will not shatter into many pieces. Impact resistant glass can withstand extreme weather conditions without any problems.
You should carefully read any warranty associated with a window that you are considering buying. Companies that have been around for a while should still be around in the future to honor or warranty. Be absolutely certain of what the warrant covers before you buy.