How to Choose Replacement Windows
If you are thinking of selling your home, or you just want to lower your heating or cooling expenses, you may be considering replacement windows. Selecting the right windows for your home can be a rather confusing task, considering the number of options that are currently available. With a bit of research, and consideration of your needs, though, you can choose the best replacement windows for your home.
One thing to consider when choosing replacement windows is whether you want to increase your home's heating and cooling efficiency, or you want to enhance the appearance of your home. In some cases, such as when you are planning on selling your home, you may want both benefits - a well insulated home with attractive windows can sell for significantly more than a home with high heating costs and outdated windows.
Ventilation should be considered carefully when choosing replacement windows. In many homes, some windows are in hard to reach places, so you will need to choose a window type that allows for easy opening. For example, while double hung windows are easy to clean, they can be difficult to open if they are positioned over a kitchen sink or a countertop. In these situations, a sliding or awning type replacement window might be a much better option.
When choosing replacement windows, you will want to think about the type of frame material you prefer. Some people prefer the classic look of wood frames; however, wood is not as durable as other types of frames. Vinyl and fiberglass window frames are more durable than wood, although not as strong as aluminum. Replacement windows with aluminum frames can support heavier glass panes, reducing the chance of window glass breakage.
The type of frame material you choose for your replacement windows will affect your heating and cooling costs. Although aluminum frames are durable, aluminum is not a particularly good insulator unless a thermal break is added. Wood frames, while often expensive, are considered good insulators. If you don't mind the look of vinyl or fiberglass window frames, though, these may be your best choice - these frames offer the greatest insulation, while allowing you to minimize your window replacement costs.
Most replacement windows currently available feature one, two, or three panes of glass. A single pane window is cheaper and easier to repair, but it also offers little insulation. Double and triple pane windows allow less heat to escape from the home, but they are heavier, more expensive, and more costly to repair. If double or triple paned windows are within your budget, though, you will enjoy an added benefit - these windows cut down on street noise and other noise pollution.
If you have south-facing windows without much shade, you may want to choose heat absorbing, tinted, or UV-reflective replacement windows. This will help reduce cooling costs in the summer, and reduce the amount of intense sunlight that enters your home. Keep in mind, though, that replacing the glass in these windows can be rather expensive.