Your windows play a critical role in your home’s beauty, comfort, protection and energy efficiency. If your windows are old and drafty, it’s time to replace them. Old, worn down windows can drag down your home’s energy efficiency, causing your monthly heating and cooling expenses to soar Newer, better windows offer an easy and effective way to improve your home’s comfort,energy efficiency and overall value.
Where do you start?
You can ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. Once you’ve gotten the name of a reliable service provider, start checking their credentials, including necessary business licenses, insurance and certifications. Pay close attention to the window products they carry, as well. Their selection should be both high quality and extensive. A company specializing in window replacement should be able to offer the following:
Double Hung Windows
A classic and popular choice recognizable by two sashes that can be opened vertically. Most homes across the country feature double hung windows, which are popular for their functionality as well as their versatility.
Casements have a hinge on the side and open outward like a door. They are popular because they can work with many different architectural styles and provide excellent ventilation.
Bay and Bow Windows
Both protrude from your home’s outer walls and feature a somewhat curved design, with a few notable differences.
Bays are usually made up of three units—one central panel and two side windows, giving them a more angular appearance. Bows are made up of four or more units, forming a graceful arc.
Picture windows are fixed units featuring slim frames and expansive glass that can take up an entire wall of the home.
These units glide smoothly along their frames via tracks. Like picture windows, sliding windows have thin frames and a large glass area, only they’re operable (meaning they can be opened and closed).
These windows resemble casements, only they open outward and up, creating a sort of “roof” over the window’s opening. They are typically used in smaller rooms.
These windows are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, or combinations of different window styles.
Having a wide range of window styles to choose from is all very well and good, but how do you pick the right style for your home? Here are a few handy tips:
1) Choose According to Specific Function
Your replacement windows need to look good and offer the type of functionality you need. Windows perform a number of functions, with styles performing better at certain tasks than others. Keep these tips in mind:
To maximize your views of the outdoors, choose picture windows.
Slim frames and expansive glass make picture windows the perfect choice for making the most of stunning outdoor views.
Add space to your home with bay and bow windows.
Because they protrude from your home, these windows give you extra square footage that you can use for various purposes. You can use this space for additional seating or as a breakfast nook. You can also turn the space under the windows into a small storage area, or have shelves installed to house your favorite reading materials. The space may also serve as a surface for displaying plants, framed photos and other decorative items.
Brighten and promote better air circulation in smaller rooms with casement windows.
These windows open with a crank, making them perfect for compact or hard-to-reach spaces, such as the area over the kitchen sink or above appliances or countertops. Casement windows are good for kitchens and bathrooms because they provide excellent ventilation, preventing the buildup of indoor moisture while getting rid of leftover food smells and other odors.
Improve your bathroom’s privacy with awning windows.
When in need of a window that provides privacy while still helping ventilate your bathroom, have a row of awning windows installed above head height.
2) Choose According to Your Home’s Architectural Style
Because windows are highly visible design elements, they can help your home make a bigger impression from the curb. To achieve the best results, make sure your choice of windows matches your home’s architectural style. Follow these tips:
Double hung windows for Colonial, Farmhouse and Craftsman Homes.
Double hung windows are a a staple of these home styles because of their clean and simple lines. In fact, double hung windows are versatile enough to enhance the style of any home without looking out of place
Bay and bow windows for Victorian homes.
The graceful curves of bay and bow windows make them a great complement to the brooding, asymmetrical appearance of Victorian homes.
Picture and sliding windows for modern Homes.
Modern-style homes are all about clean lines, open layouts and strong indoor-outdoor connections. That’s why picture and sliding units, with their sleek frames and expansive glass areas, make the perfect replacement windows for this architectural style.
Casement windows for cottage and cabin homes.
The simple design and easy operation of casement units contribute to the rustic charm of these home styles, which are known for taking design and color cues from nature.
3) Choose According to Energy-Efficiency Needs
High-quality replacement windows feature durable, insulated framing materials and advanced low-emissivity glass. Here’s how these qualities will boost your home’s overall energy efficiency:
Double hung and casement windows provide great natural ventilation.
You can open casement units fully or angle them to direct cool breezes into your home. Double hung windows, meanwhile, have top and bottom sashes that can both be opened at the same time. This allows warm and stale air to exit your home through the top sash while cooler, fresher air enters your home through the bottom. Both window styles can help improve indoor air quality. Because they can also cool your home naturally, you rely less on your air conditioning in the summer, which means increased energy savings.
Picture windows help prevent significant energy loss.
The fact that picture windows are inoperable makes them the most energy-efficient units available today. They provide tighter, more durable seals that eliminate the potential for air leakage. This reduces unwanted heat loss in the winter and unwanted heat gain in the summer, leading to a more comfortable indoor temperature with less reliance on your HVAC system.
By choosing the right window style for your needs and entrusting the installation to a reliable home improvement company, you can make the most of your investment.
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