What to Look For in a Replacement Window
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When you're in a home center or window supply store looking for replacement windows, there are a few things to consider. If energy efficiency is a priority, look for double- or triple-paned windows with low emissivity coatings and argon or krypton gas fill.
Some homeowners might choose to install a different style of window for design reasons, but this is often unnecessary.
Matches Existing Style
If your windows are the focal point of your home's exterior, they should match its style. This doesn't mean you have to get the same type of window as all of your neighbors, but it does mean that your new replacement windows should blend well with the rest of your house, both inside and out.
Unless you are completely remodeling your home, getting full-frame replacement windows (also known as insert or pocket windows) is usually not necessary for most projects. These are typically used when there is rot or damage to the existing frame, trim, siding and casing.
To make sure your replacement window fits your current frame, carefully measure the width and height of each existing window. If the measurements are within 1/8 inch of each other, a standard replacement window will fit the opening. If the measurements are not close to each other, a custom-made window may be needed. This is an important step in ensuring that your replacement windows will work properly and not leak or look crooked.
Type of Glass
After years of renting, you finally saved enough to buy a home that has all the classic charming aesthetics you love. But just a few months in, you notice fog accumulating on the windows, and they seem to be difficult to open and close without requiring some physical exertion.
Whether you choose full frame or insert replacement windows, you want to make sure they’re made from high quality materials. Look for a window line with a long track record of durability and good customer service. Compare warranties on the product and installation services.
Glass should be safety laminated or tinted to reduce the risk of shattering. Also, consider low-emissivity (low-e) glass. This reflects thermal energy back into the home rather than allowing it to escape out through the glazed surface. It’s especially useful in cold climates. This glass is available in various colors to match the trim and interior style of your house. The best quality glass has a low U-factor and low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). A lower U-factor reflects more of the thermal energy into the home, whereas a lower SHGC limits the amount of solar energy admitted into the home.
Number of Panes
There are many reasons why homeowners choose to replace their windows. They may be experiencing dated styles, air leaks, water infiltration or just a general lack of functionality.
If you are considering replacing your windows, look for the ENERGY STAR label to ensure they meet minimum efficiency requirements. The more efficient your replacement windows are, the lower your home heating and cooling costs will be.
Double pane windows offer a host of advantages over single-pane models, including improved insulating properties and noise reduction. They are separated by a spacer that is often bonded with seals to create an airtight cavity. Typically, this cavity is filled with either argon or krypton gas (both of which have insulating properties) to further reduce energy loss.
Triple pane windows are a more expensive option that insulate even further and offer superior sound abatement capabilities. However, they are not a good fit for every household and may not be worth the added cost.
If you’re planning on a full window replacement (also known as a retrofit) where the entire frame and sill are replaced, consider having foam spray placed in the existing sash weight pockets before installing the new window. This will help the window fit tightly in place and avoid dinging up the jambs or sill during installation.
Another consideration is the frame material itself. Wood frames provide a traditional look that many homeowners appreciate, and fiberglass frames offer durability and strength. They’re also highly energy-efficient.
Finally, be sure to check the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label when selecting a replacement window. This provides information such as the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which will help you compare energy efficiency. This information will help you find the best value for your replacement windows.
When you're in a home center or window supply store looking for replacement windows, there are a few things to consider. If energy efficiency is a priority, look for double- or triple-paned windows with low emissivity coatings and argon or krypton gas fill. Some homeowners might choose to install a different style of window for…
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