Are New Replacement Windows A Smart Home Improvement?
In times of rising costs for home heating and cooling and the need to reduce energy consumption, replacement windows are a very smart home improvement investment. Not only will replacement windows make your home more energy efficient, they will reduce your heating and cooling costs by as much as 50%. This energy efficiency will also reduce the amount of energy you use and reduce your demand for petroleum products (electricity, natural gas, heating oil, etc.). The investment in replacement windows will also increase the value of your home.
Heat is transferred through solid surfaces from the warmer side to the colder side through a process called “conduction”. Metal is a good conductors of heat. This means that your windows themselves could be causing your heating and cooling bills to be higher than the cost would be with new insulated windows. In addition, any cracks or gaps around your windows and window frames allow heated or cooled air to escape from the house to the outside and vice versa. Sealing around windows and doors and installing adequate insulation around them is the first step in improving the energy efficiency of your home. New windows, however, will probably result in a far greater savings.
These energy-efficient windows are easy to identify. They all carry the “EnergyStar” logo, indicating that they meet federal guidelines for efficiency. Talk with your window dealer about the amount of insulation you need in various parts of your home, and you can choose the right window for your specific needs.
Some people don't realize that replacement windows are different from "normal windows." Most windows you see on a regular basis are new construction windows. Even if they're put new into an older home, they are built into the wall itself. Replacement windows, on the other hand, are mounted on the outer frame of the old window. If your old window construction is sound, replacement windows offer a very affordable way to improve the appearance, energy efficiency and value of your home.
Replacement windows offer such a variety of choices that choosing one can be dizzying. Should you go with casement windows that swing in and out? Perhaps you should replace with vinyl windows that won't require painting or extensive maintenance? Would your home look better with triple pane windows or the traditional two-pane?
Last, of course, any replacement window should offer a lifetime guarantee. Without that, any other option is practically worthless. Pick for the best you can afford, make sure you have that guarantee, and you'll have no problems in the future.