Considering New Windows? 5 Tips to Choose Wisely
May 23, 2017 at midnight
New windows can give your home a fresh look, make it more comfortable and quieter, plus save money in the process. Better yet, you can reduce your carbon footprint by saving energy with more efficient windows. If your windows are drafty or shabby-looking, you might want to seriously consider replacing them. Here are some pointers:
Choose Windows That Work in Texas Weather
Texas living brings 90 degree days all summer, with 40 degree dips during the winter. You need windows capable of keeping out the heat and the cold, and rain as well. Energy Star windows typically fit this bill and can save from 10 to 15 percent on your energy bills.
Know Your Numbers Before You Shop
A couple of numbers that you’ll want to be familiar with:
- U-value - Tells how good the window is at keeping heat inside. It typically ranges from .20 to 1.20., with the lowest numbers being most efficient.
- Solar gain coefficient - This number will be between 0 and 1, and the lower it is, the better job the window does at blocking the sun’s heat.
- Visible transmission - This indicator tells how much light the window lets in. The higher the number, the greater the light transmission.
Most Expensive is not Necessarily Best
Keep in mind that pricing is based on many variables, including the company’s reputation and the materials used to craft the windows. Check out Consumer Reports and other online reviews before deciding which brands to look at. You will get a lot of information about the different types of windows and different materials used, and which is best for each application. Don’t automatically assume that high-priced means the best and most efficient. It doesn't.
Pick Only the Options You Need
Optional upgrades can add significantly to the cost of your new windows, so be sure you focus on those features that are most important to you. For instance, Low-E coatings give windows greater efficiency, as does double glazing. However, triple glazing is also available and might seem tempting, but really isn’t necessary in the sunny south - unless you have really noisy neighbors. Full screens will give you great airflow, and finer mesh allows more light in. A really popular feature most people opt for is double-hung sashes that are easy to tilt in for cleaning. Choose wisely and pay only for what is of value to you.
When you need a style upgrade for your home, new windows can do the trick. No longer will you have to paint your old frames, because new windows are clad in vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum. Been thinking of windows with cute grilles to match your house’s architecture? Now’s the time! Have them installed between the panes of glass, and you get the great look and easy care, too. Opt for hardware upgrades with interior window pulls in nickel or bronze to add a touch of class inside.
Great windows make a huge difference in how a home looks and feels. With our tips in mind, you are ready to find the perfect windows to add quiet and comfort to your home.