How to Choose the Right Replacement Windows for Your Home

How to Choose the Right Replacement Windows for Your Home
  • Opening Intro -

    These days, homeowners are spoiled for choice when it comes to replacement windows.

    Replacement windows come in a range of materials and bearing a plethora of features designed to lower your energy bills and increase the comfort and safety of your home.

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The right windows will marry form and function. They’ll blend in with your home’s architecture and complement your décor. Whether you’re partial to bay windows, picture windows, double-hung, sliders or casements, you might find that choosing the right materials, features and manufacturer is harder than you thought. Here’s how to proceed.

Consider Your Home’s Aesthetics

Windows are vital to the look of a home, both inside and out. If you have an older home with original wood-frame windows, you may be loath to replace them with more modern vinyl or aluminum units simply because they might not gel with your home’s more traditional architecture.

How your new windows will look, both from the outside of your home and from the inside, is important. Wood-clad windows will allow you to retain the classic look of wood, at least from the inside, while benefiting from the lower maintenance of vinyl or aluminum windows on the exterior.

 

If you think that vinyl or aluminum frames would mar your home’s architectural style, you’re not out of luck — you can choose to install new storm windows instead, thereby preserving the look of your original wood windows while also bumping up their energy efficiency. Original windows fitted with good storm windows can be just as energy-efficient as new, double-pane, argon-filled, low-emissivity (or low-e) windows.

Choose the Right Window Type

You can totally change the look and feel of your home by installing a new type of window. Or, you can go with what you already know works and install the same type of window you already have.

Double-hung windows, which slide open from the top and bottom, with sashes that tilt inward for easy cleaning, are the most popular ones in the United States. Slider windows offer a sleek, contemporary profile, while picture windows and bay windows offer the best views. Opt for an active transom that can open to let in the breeze or casement or awning windows that open outward with a crank.

 

What type of windows should you choose for your home? The answer depends not just on your personal preferences but also your climate. Casement and awning windows are best for windy climes because they actually seal themselves tighter in the face of strong winds. Impact-resistance is a must for regions where hurricanes or tornadoes are common. Windows that block the sun’s rays can help keep your home cool in hot climates, while those that let in more sunlight can keep you comfortable in cold areas.

Know What Features You Want

Modern windows come with an array of features, and spending more won’t always get you a better unit. According to ConsumerReports, mid-range units are among some of the best. Before you open your wallet, know what features are important to you and carefully research the quality and price to get the best deal on your new windows.

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For most homeowners, low-e, which keeps out heat in the summer and cold in the winter, is a desirable feature. A low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and a UV tint, both of which can keep out heat, is a popular choice in hot climates.

For example, if you’re looking into window replacement in a Southwestern city like Los Angeles, you’ll probably prioritize features that improve your home’s energy efficiency by keeping out heat. However, if you live in Bangor, Maine, you might want to go the other way, and look for windows that let in more heat, not less.

Of course, how much heat a window lets in (or doesn’t let in) isn’t the only feature to consider. You should also think about how easy a particular unit will be to maintain and clean, how much light it will let through and how long it will last. Vinyl windows are popular among homeowners because they’re affordable and virtually maintenance-free.

Wood and wood-clad windows require more maintenance in terms of staining and painting but look nicer and may conduct less heat or cold. Casement windows may be a good option in windy climates, but the cranks that open and close them require more care to remain operational.

other valuable tips:

The right replacement windows can improve the look of your home, increase your comfort, and even lower your energy bills. Shop around carefully for the best deal on a high-quality window, and get a good a contractor to install it, so you can enjoy your new windows for decades to come.

Image credit: Pixabay

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