Replacing the old windows and doors in your home is a big decision. Modern, energy efficient replacement windows are nearly 10 times as energy efficient as windows manufactured just ten years ago. Choosing windows can be confusing but the Energy Star window ratings system uses a standardized rating system which makes comparing windows much simpler.
Top reasons to replace home windows
- Improve the look of your home
- Lower utility bills
- Your home will be quieter
- Less fading of your home’s interior
- Retain 80% of cost upon resale (tops among home improvement projects)
- Better ventilation
There are a lot of decisions to make when selecting new windows. If have a contractor install your new windows they will visit your home, assess your needs based on the construction of the home and the location of the windows and help you choose the best replacement windows and doors.
Replacement window styles
There are a lot of replacement window styles to choose from. Popular and widely available window styles include:
- Single hung window
- Double hung windows
- Casement windows
- Picture windows
- Bay windows
Which style of window you choose depends on:
- Personal preference
- How the window will be used
- Where the window will be located
- Design or style of the house
Some people like prefer a window with many individual panes whereas some prefer the cleaner look of only one or two panes. If you don’t plan on opening a window, a picture window provides maximum light but if you want be able to open the windows, casement, single hung or double hung are a better choice.
If a window is on a second story, single hung and double hung windows tilt inward making it possible to clean the exterior of the window from inside the house. In certain situations, such as basement egress windows, building codes dictate the size, location and ability to open a window
Window construction refers the material the frame is made of. The frame of a window affects the look of the window, the energy efficiency and the cost. Popular frame materials include:
- Vinyl windows
- Wood windows
- Aluminum windows
- Fiberglass windows
- Composite – vinyl with wood clad interior
Vinyl replacement windows are the most popular replacement windows due to their energy efficiency, the low amount of care and maintenance they require and their reasonable pricing.
Replacement Window features
- The number of panes of glass
- Low-E coating
- Argon gas and Krypton gas filling
The more panes of glass, the more energy efficient a window is, dual pane windows are very popular but in some applications a single pane window is all that is necessary but in others a triple pane window is the best option.
Low E windows have a special coating on the window which reduces the amount of the suns energy that is transmitted through the glass. Low coating is available in varying levels (low, moderate or high solar gain).
Regular double or triple pane windows have air between the panes. Some replacement windows have Argon or Krypton gas sealed between the panes of glass. The gas is harmless and increases the energy efficiency of a window.
If a window is on the south or west of your home and gets direct sunlight a double pane (or triple pane if the window is large or you live in an area with intense sun) window with low solar gain Low-E coating and Argon or Krypton gas would be the best choice.
Top window manufacturers