Replacement windows – you know they’re supposed to save energy costs. You know that your old windows are leaking hot air in the summer and cold air in the winter. It’s time to replace. Here are 5 things to help you know what to buy.
1. Why Single Pane Windows Don’t Work.
With just one layer of glass they don’t protect your home from heat or cold. They do, however, give you a traditional look that you like. But, it’s probably not enough. You can add films to make them more energy efficient, but you lose the look. Simply, they’re not a good choice for energy savings.
2. Dual Pane Windows Are Insulated.
They account for most of the replacement window sales. An inert gas, usually argon or krypton, is sealed between two panes of glass. Since the gas does not transfer heat or cold easily, it keeps outside heat and cold out of your home. In most areas, it eliminates the need for storm windows.
3. Triple Pane Windows Work For Special Needs.
These windows have three layers of glass and two layers of gas within their frames. They provide excellent insulation in very, very cold climates. Additionally, if you live close to a highway or another noisy environment, they will reduce sounds even more than dual pane windows. Triple pane windows are likely to be your most expensive option. Because they are 3 layers of glass, these windows are heavier and need thicker sashes – another expense.
4. Low-E Windows Reduce Ultraviolet Light.
Low-E stands for low emissivity. It’s a coating of metallic oxide that reduces heat transfer and reduces the most damaging light that can come through your windows – the light that fades your furniture and artwork. Low-E coating adds about 10% to 15% to the cost of the window but it can reduce energy expenditures by as much as 25% over plain insulated glass. It can pay for itself in as little as 5 to 10 years.
5. Energy Star Ratings Take Where You Live Into Account.
If you buy windows with the Energy Star label that means they have met the EPA’s minimum standard for insulating ability in your area. It is an easy way to know that your windows are designed for where you live and you’re not paying for too much window or buying a window that won’t give you the energy savings you want.
When it’s time to replace your windows, make sure you buy from a licensed window dealer. You want a firm that has its own installation crews so that the company is responsible for your windows from the purchase to the install. Working with a local firm makes it more likely that you will get the proper windows for your climate. Get bids. Listen to the salesperson who comes to your home. Is he or she knowledgeable about windows and their properties or just trying to sell you a specific product? You want someone who will explain your options. Replacement widows
are great – they’ll lower utility bills, keep dust and noise out and give you a clear view of the outside world.