More Than Just A View
They say your eyes are the windows of the soul. If so, your windows are the eyes of your home. When it comes time to replacement there’s more to consider than just the view. Depending on your style home, windows make a big difference in its overall appearance.
First consider why you want to replace them. Second, determine what the options are. Finally, decide which window would serve you best.
Why replace the windows?
Do you plan to remain here for a while? In Florida, they lovingly refer to such people as “frogs”. They’re there till they croak. Do you have a five-year plan, or are you getting ready to sell? And remember. Return on investment isn’t restricted to what you can recoup at time of sale. Energy savings and quality of life are valuable points to consider along with resale potential.
Then ask yourself, “What’s most important?”
Most people have three basic concerns: energy efficiency, ease of maintenance, and aesthetics. Let’s consider each.
If lowering your energy consumption is important to you, you’ll want a window with the lowest U-Value possible. With so many glass options and price points, it can easily become confusing. The most popular options are:
- Double Glass With Low E & Argon Gas GOOD
- Triple Glass With Low E & Argon Gas BETTER
- Heat Mirror with Krypton Gas BEST
Insulated Glass (IG) has been around for decades. There are numerous options and permutations with regard to components and assembly No one buys below this level. Then there are the double pane windows. Cardinal’s 366 Glass package represents a huge improvement in U-Factor, especially in combination with a storm panel. And Triple Glass increases the efficiency even more, by as much as 33% over double. But it increases the cost and adds significant weight to the window. In years to come, it can overstress the balancers or weight management system of the window.
That’s why Heat Mirror, by South Wall Technologies, is “Best”. It delivers the energy efficiency of triple glass, but without the extra weight and cost. Krypton Gas lowers the U-Factor to the high teens. That makes it the most advanced energy efficient windows on the market.
If cleaning old double hung with storms is something you’d rather not do again, then choosing a window that is either vinyl or fiberglass is the way to go. Neither requires painting or staining and, if properly installed, will last for a long time.
If your Cape, Bi-Level, Ranch, or Split-Level home needs a facelift, then consider Casement windows opposed to Double Hung. Casements will give you a cleaner, more contemporary look. Unlike double-hung, it has no check rail in the middle. By design casement windows are more energy efficient than double-hungs or sliders. They also let in more light and, when you want it, fresh air.
If you still like the look of a double hung but want all the benefits of a casement, no problem. Casements can be made with a faux check rail so they look identical to a double hung!
Remember that window replacement is about much more than rooms with a view. Ask yourself three all-important questions: Why do I want to replace them? What options are available? Which product satisfies my desire for energy-efficiency, ease of maintenance, and esthetics?